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 crumbling after second child(11 Posts)
I wonder if any of you can offer me some help. Since my second son was born 15 months ago my relationship with my husband has been deteriorating. He's a wonderful father, but he doesn't seem to have space in his mind to deal with work stress, parenting and being a real partner to me. We don't row or have any real animosity, but we just seem to be drifting apart. Our sex life had deteriorated to next to nothing (both our faults I think) then I found he'd been doing silly things like sending flirty (but non-comittal) texts to other women. We have been going to counselling and to some extent its helped, but I'm finding it near impossible to trust him again. I have considered spying on his computer, and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm looking for an excuse to leave for good. But I'm terrified of leaving him - I don't want my kids to grow up in a separatated family, and I gave up my career to have our kids, and have been out of the workplace for 4 years now so would struggle to go back to work (I know that even if he wanted to do the right thing, we couldn't afford to live separately on one income). We had a bit of a struggle in the first year of our first son's life but it got better and I'd been hoping it would be the same thing again, but things don't seem to be getting better now. I have nobody to talk to about this other than our counsellor - I don't think my friends would understand, and my parents are far away and not well so I just don't know where to turn. Can anyone tell me, is it possible to fall back in love with someone if you work at it? Even though I can see so much good in him, I just can't seem to feel love for him right now. I don't think it helps that I'm also feeling pretty dissatisfied with my life and i'm not sure how to fix that either - I'm not even sure what it is I need to fix. Help!
Do you trust him? I couldn't trust someone who was (at best) flirting with OWomen.
Money and housing could be sorted out. It'd be a good plan to work towards financial independence.
OP of course it is possible to fall back in love. If you both work at it.
Young children can be brutal on a marriage. The tiredness takes such a toll.
Talk about this with him. And don't hang around. This won't get better on its own and it's not a problem that will miraculously go away. No one is happy to be in a marriage without intimacy. You may not be able to see that now but you will eventually.
Start small. Cuddles. Holding hands. Talking about your day. Start carving that time out and try to reconnect.
On a separate note, I think it's always wise to have a financial plan. 4 years is not that long to be out the workplace. Can you find something PT? Getting out and doing something will give you something new to talk about.
It's not sensible to give more cuddles and seek to re-ignite the spark or whatever if the overall evidence and your gut instinct (sounds like you've felt unsure about him as a partner for some time) is that this is not someone you can rely on to be faithful and treat you well. It'd be better to make an exit plan.
Only you know.
By "evidence" I mean his past and current behaviour towards you, attitudes, whether he does his fair share of stuff, trust etc. hard headed analysis, not hope!
The problem doesn't seem the second child, but that he broke your trust...
Yes, the main question is whether he can get it back or not. What is he doing to earn it back, or have you driven it?
What were the problems when your first child was born?
Thanks everyone. Trust is a big problem for me. My previous partner who I was with for nearly 10 years and who I trusted implicitly, cheated on me, so I'm not very good at trusting anymore. I'm not realy sure what can be done to win back trust? I don't know how to trust him? He's been good - he's coming to counselling and is completely committed to it, he's making the effort to talk more. He's told me he's happy for me to check his phone, to read his email etc. But then I feel worried that he's just using his work phone or has set up and email address I don't know about. My mind blows everything up into bigger and bigger problems that I don't even know are there.
After baby 1 the problems were just lack of sleep, lack of time, lack of communication, general malaise. He doesn't manage well without enough sleep and I was fed up he was constantly tired and grumpy. But it all got a lot better once our son was 1 and sleeping well. We also used to be such adventurers - we backpacked round the world, renovated a derelict house ourselves, he's run ironmen etc and its been hard to do many of the things we loved since the kids came along so I think we are missing the thrills in life. That was his explaination of the messages - it was a 'cheap thrill' that he never intended to do anything further about. I think we'd both just got a bt numb really and needed to feel alive again.
Financial independence is really difficult. I have set up a business since giving up work but in order to get finance I needed we have had to take out loans in joint names and own property together so our finances are extremely linked. My business is a long term investment and not paying a salary at the moment and I have a lot of money tied up in it. I used to work in a very male dominated industry and in quite a high powered job, and part time work is non-existant. Women returners are scarce as the hours are very long and not very conducive to family life. I'm really not sure how I can return now unless I go back full time which I really don't want to do as I want to see my kids. Basically all my plans and all my ambitions are tied into our relationship. It really does make me have to think very seriously about whether we can save our marriage as leaving would basically mean starting again in a new career or not seeing my kids all week. I'd be pretty financially devistated. Also, I really do believe in marriage vows - old fashioned I know.
Why is nothing ever easy?!
Only you can know if you can trust his word that it was "only" texts and he is faithful. If you have doubts, don't dismiss them due to being let down in the past - your H has let you down too.
The finances do sound complicated! But there are always options should you decide at any time that the relationship is no longer for you.
I have little sympathy with people who use sleep deprivation or not being able to do what they could before as an excuse to be arses to their (usually equally tired and lacking in leisure time) partners.
Finding early years with DC hard is understandable. Being a general arse, not doing one's fair share and / or having an affair (emotional or physical) when the going gets tough is crap.
It is crap Duck but it doesn't mean you should necessarily give up on things. You used to have a good life together but it sounds like kids have got in the way as they do! I assume he wanted the second child?
It's not easy to "fall back in love" but does it have to be "in love" a lot of couples love each other, are best friends etc without having to have that intense butterflies feeling.
You need to set out how you feel and probably both of you need to start making more effort. (you said yourself the decline in intimacy was both your faults) he has probably stopped seeing you as a wife and lover and more as a mum and you have lost trust in him.
You need to have this out it you want to save things. Counselling doesn't always work as some are much better than others.
Everything you described is not unusual when you have more than one child and you are in the thick of babyhood. What is not normal is the flirty texts. If he has no headspace for his own family, how does he make space for other women? His reaction to stress of family life is to turn away from his family? That does not bode well for the future.
But for the texts, I'd say just try to get through the early years. Once the youngest is 3 and then 5, it will get much better.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.