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Stress of young children destroying marriage

(40 Posts)
Echocave Sat 22-Nov-14 19:41:16

I don't know what to do but I'm crying again tonight.
We have 2 young children, the elder of whom is 3 and our relationship is ruined. I think it's my fault. The children are currently ill all the time and the older child has a chronic condition that can be hard to manage although it's not of itself very serious.

We are both older parents who work quite long hours in fairly stressful jobs. To say we are not natural parents is an understatement.

When dc1 was born I was diagnosed with mild PND but in fact I've always been very anxious.

The series of normal, stressful things that happen with young children have left us shouting at each other with me swearing and him really shouting at me. He is not a violent man but I push him with hysteria I think. I have no one in my family to talk to (mother dead but she would have been great). I just hate it so much. We seem to have lost all respect for each other.
I love my children but I don't know what to do and I end every day crying. Thank you for reading this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Nov-14 19:50:31

That does sound traumatic and it sounds as though you both need some kind of outside intervention to help restore calm. I don't know what that looks like. Could be anything from counselling to hiring domestic help to having a complete rethink about your work/life balance,

jasper Sat 22-Nov-14 19:54:32

Oh love , your title shows great insight. It's a temporary storm. Keep going. Get a babysitter once a week. Make a conscious effort never to belittle each other. Tell him you love him even when you don't feel like you do. And good luck xxx

jasper Sat 22-Nov-14 19:55:30

Why do you say it's your fault ? Are you perhaps depressed ?

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Sat 22-Nov-14 19:58:29

Small children are exhausting. Do you have any support with regards to the chronic condition you are managing? Did you receive any treatment for your PND?

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sat 22-Nov-14 19:59:24

Oh poor you, young children do really out a strain on your relationship (and the rest).

I think you and your husband need some time together without the kids. Can you get a live in nanny for a while or do you have anyone who could have them for a night.

Screenclean Sat 22-Nov-14 20:05:50

My parents have been married over 40 years and still my mum says if ever they were going to split up it would have been when they had young children.

It's the drudgery and the relentless grind of feeling useless that ended my marriage.

Can you look at why you fell in love and start from there? You have my sympathy.

Echocave Sat 22-Nov-14 20:10:59

I think it's my fault because I've been dishonest to my GP about how bad my anxiety is.

I had counselling for the PND but I'm certain I got it again with my second baby. I couldn't face up to it really and lied about it to the dr when she asked how I was. I'm scared of anti-depressants and I'm sure a measure of it is due to my personality when put through the wringer of a baby/toddler/life combination.

We have help with the children when we are at work (a nanny) but truthfully no one else at all. No other family who have children or who can help. Without our nanny we literally have no one else.

I cannot even think about a night out with my husband. Things are so bad that I cannot stand his company at the moment and he's told me he feels the same. I've just returned to work after maternity leave to find my job has changed, I have to have an operation in a month's time which I'm dreading and the children are just ill all the time at the moment. In really desperate and silly moments I want to get into the barn with a toaster (but who has time for a bath??).
Thank you for your comments. I wish I had real life friends who understood but they all have so much family support. Risk of having your kids late I suppose.

MrsIgglePiggle Sat 22-Nov-14 20:12:53

I'm guessing your children are in nursery full time? My daughter was constantly ill for her first year at nursery. I found this very stressful, especially as I too picked up all her various illnesses. However, I wasn't working at the time (which is your added stress) but I was a lone parent, no family, unemployed (but sowing the seeds of self-employment), and seriously poverty stricken.

I used to imagine what it would all be like if I was working. I always came to the conclusion it would have been worse for us. When young children are ill they really need to feel cared for, and only Mummy hugs usually suffice.

I strongly advise you say "fuck it to work and money" for one year, and simply stay at home with your 2 babies...and relax into motherhood.

Echocave Sat 22-Nov-14 20:19:31

mrsigglepiggle you sound like you've coped rather brilliantly.
I don't think I've ever really relaxed about anything ( sadly I'm being serious).
My older dc is in part time nursery hence the bugs. Little one has lovely nanny looking after her. I know we're lucky we can afford that.

MrsIgglePiggle Sat 22-Nov-14 20:21:00

Just read your last post.

Ok, get rid of the nanny, have your 15 hours a week of free nursery, and you concentrate on YOU & MOTHERHOOD for one year.

MrsIgglePiggle Sat 22-Nov-14 20:22:22

Sorry, our posts are getting terribly crossed linked. I'm going to leave it 10 mins before you think I'm mad! x

jasper Sat 22-Nov-14 20:24:40

Please please go back to your GP and get meds x

Screenclean Sat 22-Nov-14 20:34:25

Yes I'd second a trip to the gp. Don't be afraid of meds. It's hard enough without physical help but if you're mentally struggling everything seems ten times worse.

I had pnd and its crap. Meds really helped. Then I came off them with no drama.

EElisavetaofBelsornia Sat 22-Nov-14 20:37:22

I'm in a similar situation but without depression, and it often feels unbearable. Please do see your GP and be honest about it - depression is a medical condition not a personal failing. Take that first and the rest will follow. jasper and Screenclean have some great practical advice once your head is more clear. Best wishes.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Nov-14 20:39:21

Agreeing with PPs, pretending all was well to the GP seems to have backfired. If you don't like the idea of ADs for goodness sake, please tell your doctor. There are other treatments or maybe they can reassure you about medication. Doing nothing has simply got you on your knees and the family not far behind.

SashaKerr Sat 22-Nov-14 20:44:41

What you are describing seems fairly normal to me given the enormous stress you are under.

When was the last time you had fun? When was the last time you did something for yourself?

I see an amazing counsellor and a great reflexologist / raiki person who sorts me out. I also have a volatile relationship and we are learning to walk away when adrenalin levels are high - when it's fight or flight, you have to leave the room.

I agree with the others who say this is a phase - it is. You have done the first step in realising you need help - you are not alone and you are not abnormal, you have a huge amount of pressure to deal with and you are human. X

marmalade32 Sat 22-Nov-14 20:46:43

I let my PND get to the stage where I wanted my DD adopted because I thought she hated me. I was forced to the doctor by a manager at work who recognised what i was going through. Best thing anyone's ever done to me or for me. I resisted AD for about a month but took them in the end. But I left it to late and my marriage was destroyed. We lasted another 4 years in misery but we split up a year ago and I have no doubt it was what I went through and the effect it had on us, and in part I blamed him for not recognising I was so ill. Don't let it happen to you. It's a horrible thing to go through. Children are trying anyway in the early years, without the added factors of PND or anxiety. flowers

Screenclean Sat 22-Nov-14 20:48:41

YY to wanting the child/ren to be adopted. So frightening. It feels so real at the time. Angry at the world and everyone in it.

It does get better, but can your relationship afford the wait?

Echocave Sat 22-Nov-14 20:57:12

I know I need to take responsibility here. I have been cowardly over the medication issue.
I don't feel as though I want my children to be adopted yet but I'm sure one if the reasons I struggle on lashing out at my husband to no real end is that I don't think I could manage on my own. He is very organised and practical (the disarray of life with children has thrown him off balance) and I used to be but in the last few years I've had so many issues (infertility, terminally ill mum who died just before dc1 born, PND, husband lost job, ill health and now work stress). I know many people cope with this stuff but I feel absolutely broken by it all and actually dread the next disaster.
Thank you all again. This is very helpful.
Husband had gone off to bed in a huff. He can be quite passive aggressive. Not feeling the love there at all.

marmalade32 Sat 22-Nov-14 21:03:17

You're not a coward, it's just frightening thinking that you need medication to get through the day. Maybe it's the stigma of AD. That was part of it for me. You'd be surprised, though, at how many people take them for different things.
Just don't leave it too long for your relationship. It's worth trying and save it. I really feel for you. It's frightening and awful.

Screenclean Sat 22-Nov-14 21:04:36

Agree with marmalade again. You're not a coward.

What does life look like for you in 5 years time?

Echocave Sat 22-Nov-14 21:17:06

I have no idea what my life will be like in 5 years time. I feel quite scared at the thought of it. I fear illness, stress, endless worry over the children and terrible guilt that I've been a bad mum.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 22-Nov-14 21:18:52

Could you be signed off sick for a bit to let you take stock?

Also, what would happen if you just went upstairs and held DH's hand. No need totalk or do anything else. But just try and have a bit of connection. I think that, ultimately, to move forward, one of you literally has to pit their hand out to the other. I'm not saying that that makes you "wrong" - all of those discussions can wait for another day. I would also see if you could get a relate appointment too

Screenclean Sat 22-Nov-14 21:23:45

Sorry I don't think I worded that well.

In your best case scenario, no holds barred; have anything you wanted... What would life look like?

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