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Relationships that died after a baby was born

(7 Posts)
Boomerwang Tue 20-Dec-16 08:48:14

I just wondered if it was common. I was full of the joys with my partner all the way through pregnancy and childbirth and a couple of weeks after my daughter was born we were back to having sex but something had changed. Of course we were tired and stressed with a newborn but it soon became clear that we had completely different parenting styles and we couldn't stop it affecting our relationship with one another. The sex stopped (apart from once or twice a year when drunk after I'd had a paddy about the lack of sex and then it was just a quick bang) and we grew apart. We were completely unlike our loved up state during the exciting period of pregnancy and before. We both wanted a child and I believe we didn't think it through properly. We made no commitment to one another with regards to getting through tough times after she was born. The changes she made to our lives were difficult to cope with.

Today we live apart and our daughter goes back and forth between us. We still parent differently and cannot talk to one another much before erupting in an argument, even though I've changed my behaviour to allow for his i.e. avoiding triggering comments and abstaining from trying to parent our child whilst I am in his home.

It's a damn shame as I'm not sure either of us will find another person to be with. We briefly considered trying again when things had been fine for a while, but I threw that idea away after another unexpected argument which was the result of finding out he was repeating past mistakes.

I worry about the way my daughter will grow up. She is only 4 and we split up when she wasn't yet 2 so it's all she knows, but she has to make decisions she shouldn't have to make at this age.

00100001 Tue 20-Dec-16 08:49:23

It's not unusual.

BitchQueen90 Tue 20-Dec-16 09:07:04

Mine did. We had issues before but after DS was born I realised what an arse exH was regarding childcare - I was a SAHM and he thought that meant that I had to do ALL the childcare, cooking and housework. He would come home and sit on the computer or Xbox while I looked after DS, did the bath and bed routine every night. It's better now we are split as on his contact days he HAS to do all of it as I'm not there. It's easier now.

PizzaPlease Tue 20-Dec-16 10:57:53

I could have written that myself. For us it wasnt just that our parenting styles where different but that he didn't really change after we had our daughter. He carried on like he had no responsibilities, playing video games constantly (and I mean constantly!) and it got to the point where I felt like a single parent if truth be told. From his point of view I bet he felt resentful that he was coming home from work, just wanted to relax, and couldn't. I could have been more understanding, he could have done more. I ended things but we still had to live together for a year before he could afford to move out. When he moved out I found out that he'd been lying to me about a bunch of money related stuff, I had been paying him money to cover my share of the bills and he had been lying about the amounts, I'd actually been covering the whole total but because it was all ebilling I'm his name I had no idea. He'd also been telling lies to people he worked with to gain sympathy (mostly to not have to work extra shifts, think "Pizzaplease is off having fun so I have to stay home with baby pizza"). I think that hurt the most because I was the main carer and hadn't even spent a night away from her at that point. It felt like an unnecessary betrayal. When he first moved out we fought constantly to the point where I was starting to think we might need a contact centre for drop offs. But a few months down the line and we're not fighting anymore. It's just not worth the stress, we're always going to be in contact, and we had to find a way to get along for our daughters sake. He was my best friend for a long time and really the relationship ending wasn't either of our faults... We just grew into different roles after our baby. It's hard though, parenting with someone that you're not in a good place with.

offside Tue 20-Dec-16 11:06:57

It's so difficult isn't it. I'm one of the lucky ones whose DP has stood up to the plate and more besides. But from looking in on others I think men find it harder as they don't have the nine months to adapt like we do, as soon as a woman is pregnant, we are mums, however, it only hits men when the child is born and it's almost like they have to change overnight.

I'm not making excuses, this is just what I've witnessed with friends. Some of those relationships have survived with the man not changing and the woman accepting that's how they will always be and some have changed over time. Some have obviously broken down as the woman wants and rightly so expects more.

We all have different ideals for upbringings. I think myself and my DP parent very similarly and want the same for our DD with the exception of discipline - he finds it hard, but is changing and is doing it more when he needs to as he recognisedid that our DD was acting differently with him than she was with me as she was getting away with things with him.

However, just from this little difference, I can imagine big differences will drive a wedge between the best parents.

phoenix1973 Tue 20-Dec-16 11:11:16

It's not unusual at all.
That's why I stopped at one.
If he'd mucked in more and I'd felt less like a lone parent I may have had the inspiration to have more.
He provides financially and is generous in that way.

pallasathena Tue 20-Dec-16 11:17:04

It seems to be very common these days though that's not strictly true because I was you over thirty years ago with a husband just like yours.
And, like you, I divorced him and made a better life for myself and my kids. And, from what I've observed over the intervening years, there's a distinct disconnect that appears in a relationship when a baby enters the frame.
Its partly to do with conflicting expectations, partly to do with exhaustion, but essentially, the disconnect appears to be due to the male partner feeling as if he's no longer number one in the relationship.
Some recent studies have highlighted common denominators necessary for long, happy marriages and one factor common to all those documented was the attitude of the woman/wife to the relationship dynamic in the home.
Evidently, the successful marriages succeeded because she put the husband first and the children second - common practice until recent, child centred parenting techniques became all the vogue.
So, what to do? I would always put the kids first and I always did but I was financially independent unlike my mother and grandmother's generation. Today, there is no real imperative, socially, financially to emulate the women of previous generations and so we find ourselves questioning and in many cases, rejecting the assumption that men are somehow 'allowed', to behave like toddlers when a new baby arrives; they're allowed to feel 'abandoned'.

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