Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Relationship after baby...what relationship?(21 Posts)
I hope someone can help-I'm at a bit of a loss.
Since falling pregnant with DS in 2013, my relationship with DH has changed beyond recognition. I Loathed pregnancy and intimacy was the absolute last thing on my mind. DH never pushed and we plodded along, both presuming things would return to normal (which was always quite sporadic) after The baby was born.
DS , who is now 18m, was -and continues to be-a high maintenance baby. I'm working full time in a stressful and demanding job, am at uni and am primary care giver. DH pulls his weight doing alternate bedtimes and drop offs, but is quick to pout when he has to do "more" than his fair share (don't get me started)
In short, I am perpetually exhausted. DS only just started sleeping through 9weeks ago and he's a whirlwind from the moment he wakes up til he goes to sleep. To cut a long story short, DH and I have barely any physical contact anymore.
Neither of us honestly seem that bothered by it. I know he's tired too and he hasn't even attempted making a move in a very long time. We don't really chat about anything other than DS and spend most nights doing our own thing (me working and him on his phone/gym/TV)
We're living like flat mates and I'm worried it's going to lead to a permanent change in our relationship. I know that I'm simply in survival mode at the moment and that will hopefully change as I reboot and feel a little more like pre-baby me.
Does anyone have any experience of this? Hopefully someone has some good news for me!!!
Yep it was like this after my DS was born he is now 2. H left me three months ago, so maybe you need to sit down and speak to him about your concerns before it is too late. you need to make time for eachother go out for a quick drink once a week or something. me and my H didn't and just plodded on and now we are seperated Sorry to be a bit doom and gloom just don't make the same mistake me and DH made. It is somewhat normal to go through this as kids are exhausting but you need to address it ASAP. good luck.
You're working full time in a stressful and demanding job, and are at uni. Even if you didn't have a child to look after I doubt you would have much time or energy to invest in your relationship. And he's not really doing his fair share of household duties/parenting, which under the circs should be 50%. Anything other than that is selfish and an imposition on you. I wouldn't be feeling terribly warm about the prospect of physical intimacy with him either. I'd be wanting to give him a bloody good slap!
I'd second what sweetie said. I don't have any 'it all turned out fine' story. I haven't been through anything similar but you need to address this.
Have no advice I'm afraid but I'm in exactly the same boat. Can't remember when dh and I had a hug or even an arm round one another, let alone anything else.
Our problem is we are both so invested in our dd that we don't even want to make time for each other anymore. Once dd is in bed we live like flat mates who have nothing in common.
Sorry I can't offer anything, hope you get some good advice as I know my situation is getting me down now.
You definitely need to make time for each other, do you have someone who can babysit for you? DH & I go out as couple more now after DC than we ever did before them, you need time to be a couple as well as parents-it really is important.
You definitely need to do something soomer rather than later. My dh and I almost split up over similar. But we both buried our head in the sand and plodded along until our dd was was 5. As far as I was concerned we were over. I thought he didn't love me and he was totally shocked when he thought we were over. He did change. We had counselling etc., but I couldn't help thinking that if we had just confronted our problems earlier it would have saved the heartache we went through. It is almost 2 years later and we have a brilliant and equal marriage now. I sometimes think how different life would be if we never faced our problems and just split. I can't imagine our little family not being together now. Please speak to your dh. The sooner the better
I think it's crucial to set aside at least one evening a week and if poss, one day a month child free time to spend time together.
As you're both tired that may just be dinner or lunch out for now.
Dh and I always made a point of carving out some time together and not talking about the kids during that time.
Eventually we had a week child free each year as well.
Speaking as an ex divorce lawyer with 25 year marriage under my belt I strongly recommend signing up with Sitters if you don't have family or friends to babysit
Our relationship has gone downhill too. Dp is sleeping downstairs tonight after another argument. I feel so sad about it all but I don't know how to fix things.
Sorry I'm not being more helpful.
I was in a similar situation, no intimacy for about 2 and a half years after DC arrived. But things are now much better. The key for us was finding a regular baby sitter so we could go on date nights and also me stopping work and not feeling so tired and stressed all the time. But this probably isn't what you want to do if you're still studying but I think trying really hard to minimise stress and having time to yourself as a couple really helps. DC is now nearly four and was up for two hours in the night last night so things aren't perfect but I think it is possible to save your relationship.
Similar ages although my little on is a few months younger.
We have no support network so our day is full of cleaning, looking after lo, work, and the cycle repeats.
It felt like the relationship was getting back to the new good days with a little one but then suddenly I felt like you.
To be honest we're both exhausted although my other half does a lot when be vets back from work too. Despite that, you can't let your relationship dwindle and living like flat mates is not on.
We sat down and talked and talked. There is so much going on but at the end of the day we said being separate in the evenings is not okay. Our little one wakes randomly still but we have to have evenings where we sit, put technology away and be with each other like before. We can also have a couple of days where we get our own time in the evening.
We reorganised everything in our home to make it seem fresh again and work together for housework. I need a push as I am always knackered so I told my DH to tell me what needs to be done and I'll make it my task. That's something for your oh to do as well.
Technically we just need to pay attention to each other and care for each other a lot again but show it and not assume the other person knows and feels it. The relationship is being rekindled again. It is necessary! It starts with a talk and hopefully being open and honest and asking what you want from each other. Our talk wasn't all smooth. We have other issues to do with his family etc as we moved to be near them but basically don't see them as they don't care so that affects DH but I am also alone miles away from my family so it has affected me a lot. Whatwe realised is we have each other so we should be sshowing that support and love to each other like before when things weren't constantly on the go.
What you describe is really normal. Much more normal than we think, I suspect.
We had our two close together and our youngest is about to turn five. I kind of feel like we're just coming out of the wilderness now (although we emigrated when the DC were very young, which I thoroughly do not recommend).
I absolutely agree that you need to make time for each other; it's a recipe for disaster if you don't.
You also need to talk about just helping each other and being nice and kind to each other, as a means to resorting intimacy and friendship (you need to like each other, as well as love each other). Saying good morning/night, a touch, a hug, a smile. Regularly, as in several times a day. They're things that are so easy to do, and the longer you don't do them, the more distant you become.
Could you drop to a four day week at work and use the fifth day to do the uni work leaving evenings free?
When ours were tiny, DH worked away Mon to Thursday night. On Friday nights we used to put the kids to bed and set up the dining table with candles, music etc, and basically pretend we were in a restaurant, ie spend a couple of hours over dinner. It was usually just M&S bung in the oven stuff. We weren't allowed to talk about the kids for that evening.
Just an idea if babysitters are an issue.
Thanks for all the feedback; I know we need to have a proper discussion about how things are going but DH isn't the best about confronting issues. I'll need to force the discussion and that always ends with him going in a huff.
I know that dropping days at work is the sensible thing but I bloody love my job and have worked very hard to get to this point in my career. Uni is to progress further in my field and it's evening and weekend classes in 6 week blocks (then a 4000 word assignment) so it's intensive but not all the time. I know DH resents how much Time I devote to work and uni but I need something that is just for me. I'm not a natural parent-I find it incredibly challenging-so being good at my job is important to me.
I need to just bite the bullet and have the talk. It's ear we're both just muddling along -not happily but not unhappily either-and it's not going to end well unless it's dealt with.
I found - and sorry to be blunt here, and you may already be doing this - that having sex made up for a LOT of this. It acted as a shortcut for lots of things (when don't have time, money, inclination to go out for date night or do much other than collapse on sofa at end of day) and kickstarted a lot of things (like a bit more intimacy and niceness, also has made it easier to talk to each other about stuff.)
Has made everything better. In retrospect I would have done the 'lots more sex' thing first - before everything else, even before having the 'we must fix relationship' talks.
Have more to say, but have previously made mistake about talking about this without NC and don't want to repeat!
This is horrible but-since having DS-things 'down there' haven't been the same. The few times we have attempted sex-and it is only a handful of times since DS was born-I haven't had much sensation. It's made it difficult to desire it, if you see what I'm getting at.
No excuses. Have just texted DH to see if he wants to go on a date night this week when DS is with his grandparents.
Raspberry well done on date night! But I am not sure that things should be THAT different down there? Have you asked about it??
I think date nights are important, but it doesn't always have to be big get out the house and get a baby sitter job. DH and I have a rule that we always eat together after our 18month year old is in bed, at the table, no phones. Sometimes we don't know what to say, other days it's better. But even if we chat about news/ Facebook etc we try to communicate. Then at weekends we try and watch a film or programme together so we have done something 'together'. It's hard, really hard but it helps us to try and feel like a couple again. Good luck x
I remember going for our first date night and thinking we need to order wine as soon as we get there. I was worried we had absolutely nothing to talk about, apart from DC and renovations.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.