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Anyone else find relationship under SERIOUS strain with two small ones?(12 Posts)
I don't post this lightly but feel I need to talk to someone and don't want to in RL ( stupid I know). It might be a case of grass is greener.
I have been really questioning my marriage for a while. Been married 6 years with two under 3 now so small gap in between ( was two under two). I am a SAHM and happy to be it. DH works long hours and our lives completely revolve around the kids. We don't have any childcare or anything but eldest just started a few mornings a week at nursery.
I have been sleep deprived since having Dc1 which I find really hard. DH too. He helps with the wakings but obvs get sleep priority as he has to commute and keep his job, plus has serious condition which is under control with meds but risky on little sleep!!
I love him but also find him seriously frustrating because I have to lead/ initiate everything in our lives - housework, finances, house repairs. He is a bit ' in his own world'. Romance is zero.
When I look back I wasn't on top of the world when we married and we have had a bout of counselling to get us back on track a few years ago. In fact, I am writing this cos I found my diary yesterday and read about my doubts, in fact, even before married.
I guess I know we are ok now because we bond over our adoration of our kids but what happens when they grow up and don't need us so much? I am v sociable, he struggles socially.
Sorry if this isn't very lucid, am sat here with both kids feeling guilty for ignoring them while I type this out!
What I am saying is that these doubts that I shouldn't have married him in the first place plague me a bit. I love him, adore him for many, many reasons but it's more of a companionship than being 'in love'. To clarify I was in love at the start and wanted to marry him almos t immediately.
I guess I don't know what I am asking mumsnetters to do. Gosh, just splurging in a self indulgent way. Sorry if this is all ridiculous.
Also, I know you are thinking ' how selfish to marry someone if you had doubts!' And I agree but it wasn't like that at the time. In so many ways we fitted and were happy and I think I put it down to me always expecting myself and partner to be superhuman.
I think i've led and initiated in every relationship I've been in. The only one I didn't was full of arguments because I often disagreed with what had been decided!
I think it's a common complaint but to be honest I use it to my advantage as it secretly means I get to choose things.
In terms of companionship, isn't this what marriage is about? My DH isn't romantic at all but he does do little things which make life easier/sweeter. We also never argue but just muddle along. I think that is the key. Being married is quite dull when you think about it...
Having children can be the worst thing to happen to a marriage, so I can't understand people who think s baby will "bring them closer together." In your case, the health issues are also a factor.
I'm not sure what to suggest, but really wanted to acknowledge what you wrote, as it's important; we are all important, and need to feel that we are heard and seen, something it sounds like you are missing.
Poplina, a few years ago I read a post on here saying that nobody should get a divorce until their youngest child was five. I think the poster was slightly tongue in cheek, but there is an element of truth there.
My youngest child is now five, and is amazing how much less I resent dh.
It's the same for me- i often wonder why I married, then had my children with my husband. I genuinely think I just went with the flow an ended up where I am today.
I'm happy enough, love our home and two children but I certainly never felt that I met my soulmate. More of an acceptance of this is who I would end up with.
We work well together though, I'm generally the decision maker, hes happy for it to be that way. He's a good dad, but I, like you get fed up of the constant initiation I have to do for simple household/kid related tasks. For example only now whilst our oldest is two, has he started taking the initiative that when 6.30 hits he can round the two little ones up for bathtime without prompting from me.
I'm not sure how different life would be with someone else though and the nights he works late and it's just me and the kids I miss him, but maybe like you say for the companionship more than anything.
For me though, family units are important and the niggles of doubt I have aren't strong enough to mean I'd uproot my children from their father to give myself chance to meet the mythical Mr right. I know my kids are better off with us together and in rl life noone would have a clue I felt this way.
As it happens my husband is so much fun, my best friend, silly, compassionate, warm, hard working and the love he has for us all is priceless. It could be alot worse.
I think you sound really normal. I had doubts before I got married (in fact most people I know did) and it seems more dependant on personality than the relationship.
Lots of people have said to me that having two small kids is a long sleep deprived blur. But it does get better.
I think it's normal to be very kids focused at this age. And it can feel like you are not connecting with your DH. Can you make time for yourself to have a weekend away? Get some childcare and just get a few good nights sleep and go on a date? Have some conversations not about the kids? What about doing a day out together somewhere leaving the kids with granny or a friend?
Thank you so much all! It's so reassuring to hear about similar experiences. All of your posts are really thoughtful and valuable. I certainly wouldn't want to divorce for everyone' s sake, I think I just probably get into a thinking too deeply rut as most of my interaction is toddler focused! I used to be an academic and I think I have a natural tendency towards selfish, introverted examination which can be quite destructive! So brain is gradually turning to mulch and relationship is humdrum.
I think you are all valid in what you say and I need to relax, and also take matters into my own hands...get some DH and I some time away!
Thank you all xxx
YY to you sounding normal. We only have one but the sleep deprivation mixed up with the general culture shock of becoming parents put enormous strain on our marriage.
Eventually the sleep got better and I went back to work, getting a bit of my old life back. DH became much more hands on with the childcare and our relationship improved enormously.
Good luck and many hugs OP - I found it so hard to spy the light at the end of the tunnel but it was there.
Thanks! I am going to try and make more effort on the romance front. Maybe book a night away!
I think you've got some great replies here and to be honest I am surprised as I have read similar threads where people are very insistent that situations like this do not get better. I wonder where the line is drawn between a relationship going through a tough patch, and one that just isn't working?
Looking back, having children only highlighted the character flaws in the ex. They were always there but were manageable/ignorable until tested by the extreme stressors of children/babies (you know, where you actually need to work as a team and depend on him to help you). It was all down hill from then.
You can't make the situation easier or more right alone. If he isn't stepping up to the plate, he is accountable for that, not you.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of men who roll up their sleeves, man up and do what is necessary/sacrifice for the sake of the family unit (you know, put their own selfish agenda's aside for a short time)
Mine didn't, ref. 'Ex'.
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