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Getting the spark back(14 Posts)
DH and I have been married about 8 years and have a 2yo DD. He is a kind, thoughtful and considerate husband and a great dad.
Since DD has been born though the spark seems to have gradually gone out of our marriage and we are more like friends than anything else. We very rarely get any time together just the two of us and we seem to be stuck in the mundane. We rarely have sex or are intimate with each other (DH only really kisses me when he is trying to instigate something) and we don't have fun like we used to.
We had a really honest chat recently so I know he feels the same and we both vowed to try and work at it. I have issues with anxiety so I have been trying to work through this and am feeling much better which has helped, but I just feel like the excitement has gone.
I am scared that one of us will start looking for excitement elsewhere. So as not to drip feed I was recently contacted by an ex (who is getting divorced) and who wanted to meet for a drink (after many years). I said no but we chatted online (completely innocently - nothing untoward said - me making it clear I was happily married etc.) but I know the intention of his contacting me was probably not so innocent and I wouldn't have even entered into that conversation a few years ago. I haven't told DH and I can't deny that I enjoyed the fact that I liked the attention.
I think this has worried me that this is a slippery slope and I want to get things back on track! What can we do?
How about counting your blessings? How about instead of worrying about 'losing the spark', you find something else to occupy yourself? How about making an effort to stop overthinking and accepting that in a long term relationship 'the spark', matures into something else, something deeper, something more meaningful and yes, more settled and predictable too when two people genuinely love and care for each other.
How about recognising that you have what many people would give their right arm to have and finally, you are so out of order engaging in the online chat 'enjoying the attention', indeed....are you 14?
Pallas I think you might be being a bit harsh here, but I understand what you are saying.
Let me be clear, nothing even remotely untoward happened in the conversation, it was literally "how are you" "how has life been." I haven't told DH, but I could, and honestly there was nothing in the conversation that I wouldn't be happy for him to see.
But I get your point that I need to be grateful for what I have and stop worrying. As I said, I suffer from anxiety (which I am currently getting therapy for) so I might be catastrophising, but I am scared things will fizzle out and I really want my marriage to work. I just wanted some advice on how we can both be happy and find fun together again.
I get that marriage isn't about butterflies and excitement but something deeper, and I am not stupid that you can't keep that new romance feeling going forever, but i don't think it's wrong to expect that a married couple can have some spark between them.
I think you can be grateful for what you have while still trying to improve it, surely? Especially if you are both on the same page with it. Do you get any time alone together? I know you said rarely but could you find time for a child-free coffee? Evenings or does DD not sleep?
My youngest is 3 and I have been working on getting the spark back a bit as well. I have to say that when youngest was 2 I wouldn't have had the energy. I will probably be flamed as being selfish for this but what has helped me is actually spending a bit of time on my own and getting to know what I want and like. Feeling more comfortable in my own skin has given me a bit more confidence as part of a couple. I've only managed this by having a tiny bit of childfree time which I would not have had with a 2 year old.
Do you want more / better sex with him or is that not something on the radar at the moment? Is it more about spending time together / having fun?
I don't have any great advice, so will be seeing if you get any! To be fair, as PP said I think you have to accept that the excitement etc does reduce a bit over time. That's not to say you can't take steps to increase it though.
E.g. The fun we used to have tended to be from going out to pubs or going to the gym etc so I have had to accept that very rarely happens anymore. I think that is me missing my younger life rather than anything to do with the marriage. A takeaway with a bottle of wine and taking it in turns to have DCs so the other can go out for a run is an option though.
I think for some couples, sometimes the spark is lost forever when kids come along. When I split up from my ex for similar reasons, he said that I had become annum first and wife second and become a bit dull with my endless talking about our child which looking back I probably had. I know it takes two to keep the romance alive but he said he did try suggesting nights out etc but I wasn't overly interested anymore. He was right, my priorities had changed and it affected us. Is there an element of this ?
It's really hard to look after the couples aspect of marriage when the children are young. I have only just re-started, and my DC are 9 and 11!
I think the main thing is to not expect miracles, and trust none of you will stray. Is it possible for you to have date nights maybe once or twice a month? Ie. a baby sitter or your DC stay with family friends?
Also remember to look after yourself. You can give so much more if you practice self-love and self-care.
That's exactly it, things just need improvement so we don't end up going down a road that neither of us wants - I might have confused things by adding that bit about my ex (but just wanted to be open about it). I think my priority is having fun really, just having time to remember that we are a couple and not just "mummy" and "daddy" which is sometimes how it feels. It's almost like we have lost our identity as a couple (and possibly as individuals as well) if that makes sense.
More sex would be great, and it's good when it happens, but that's more me being too exhausted most of the time so that's probably my effort to make.
Time alone is very rare (unless it's sat in front of the TV or falling asleep) - we are trying to sort this but childcare is a bit of an issue for us which makes it difficult.
Definitely agree with the self-love and self-care . I had seriously neglected that.
Also, I guess it depends what's realistic. I have no interest in big nights out as PP said, mainly because I know that unless I am guaranteed a proper lie in the next day (which never happens) I won't enjoy the night and will be shattered and even more grumpy the next day!
Crossed with you. I won't lower the tone of your thread but I have a thread in relationships now about more sex.
TBH I've only started feeling human this year as I have a few hours child free time a week. It wouldn't have happened before that.
We tried date nights when DD was tiny and that worked well, but it fizzled out, especially after I went back to work, maybe we could make more effort to do this though.
User I do worry that I have become a nag and that we don't talk about anything other than DD anymore.
I think you are all also right that we probably both need time alone too. We are both either working or doing housework or running around after DD and I think we could both do with time to look after ourselves.
It is reassuring to know that others have this too.
Lots of pressure on date nights (although of course if you enjoy them that's great). Can you both book an annual leave day and go out for lunch / coffee?! Depends on your jobs of course. I also need time alone for my sanity. Finally DH has realised that I need an hour or so to myself collapsed in front of the telly etc a few times a week. Small thing but makes a difference.
You've got a baby. This is what happens in most relationships for the first couple of years. No biggie. Just both realise this and make effort
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