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Are DH and I in trouble or just tired and is this just run of the mill??(27 Posts)
I'm hoping for some perspective and opinions here please. I can't quite tell where my relationship is at the moment.
A bit of history, DH and I have been together 15 years, married for 7. We have 2 delightful little boys aged 3 and 1. And now also expecting baby no 3
not quite part of the plan which was a shock, but a happy one now that we've adjusted to the idea.
Life is generally fun but bloody hard work, we both work and have jobs with high pressure and responsibility, the children are still very young and require a lot of attention and needless to say life seems to be a bit of an endless routine of feeding, bathtimes, lunchboxes......you know the drill.
By the time the kids are in bed, we are fed and all the
fucking tedious mundane jobs are done, we are both shattered. I often sit watching tv or on the laptop and DH either goes to the gym or has a bath if it's not a gym night. Often, by the time he gets back from the gym or comes back down from having a bath, I go to bed so we are like passing ships. Being 25 weeks pregnant I'm knackered and am asleep by the time he gets to bed so our sex life is lacking somewhat too. Still manage to schedule it for about once a week though.
We are good together when the kids are around but feel like we are losing a grip on our own relationship. We don't talk much in the evenings and there isn't much affection between us anymore. Is this just what happens when you have very small children? Or should I be worried?
Ime it's just what happens, but as the kids get older, you have to make an effort to get it back.
You could tell him you want to schedule in some quality time though, just 20 minds cuddle on the sofa talking about your day counts for a lot in the staying connected game.
Sounds pretty normal. If it bothers you, is there one night you could watch TV together, maybe an episode or two from an old lighthearted box set - Fawlty Towers or Outnumbered or something?
Once a week puts you on the better side of average with two preschoolers and pg with third, I would think... When we were at that stage I was ready to kill him if he was five minutes late home from work. Still happily married many years later but most of life is pretty much ships that pass during the baby and pre-school years. Unless you are one of the very very few who cut out all other activities (like gyms and hobbies) in a desperate attempt to carve out special family time. In which case, mostly, at least one child barfs, there are always Words, and somebody loses the car keys.
It all sounds boringly normal, but I wonder whether the fact that you are worried about it is enough of a concern. Mostly there isn't usually enough time to worry about it, you are too busy doing iyswim...
Yes, you're both right.....and we do try. There's quite often something we'll watch on Netflix together but it just feels like it's a bit forced. I'd probably much rather be in bed and he'd probably much rather I would too so that he can watch what he wants! Not sure whether that's just us having our own space or whether we don't enjoy each other's company anymore. This pregnancy seems to be making me very paranoid, so perhaps it's just me being overly sensitive
Thanks littleold, really glad to hear that it's just boringly normal and not beyond repair. It's been like this for a while and I've not given it much though. Tonight though has just been particularly bad, he's been off for a bath, came back down, I tried talking to him and showing him which garden furniture I think we should buy (I'm even boring myself, here) and I just got one word answers so I fucked off to bed. As soon as I went upstairs, he got up and made himself a bowl of ice cream!! I would've like a bloody bowl too. Just being pregnant and ridiculous I think.
He does sound like he is being hard work though. I may well have stomped back down to the kitchen and shouted 'no, no, you put your feet up love. I'll get my own. I wouldn't want you to put yourself out'. Sometimes you have to make a focused effort to be nicer to each other. It's easy to forget that little things matter when you are both knackered. (giving him the benefit of the doubt, however unreasonable). But if he is not willing to play ball, that's a different thing. Post your garden furniture on here - you'll get more opinions than you want .
I've just very sarcastically thanked him for my bowl of ice cream. I think you've hit the nail in the head - there's not much kindness or love anymore. Trouble is, I don't want to tell him to do nice things for me, I just want him to do it! At what stage did you find things got easier? I'm hoping that once dc3 is born and we have survived the first two (?) years that we may get some semblance of normality?
We had a really rough time after dc3 was born (not specifically relationship-wise, just stop-the-world-i-want-to-get-off wise - she was brain damaged at birth and spent a long time in special care) but it gets easier once your attention isn't always being demanded by one or two other living things... and when they start to develop their own personalities and do their own things and you can talk about them as people in their own right (as opposed to whether they are eating enough/ sleeping enough/ barfing too much etc etc). Then it got a bit more possible to try for some family days out (even an hour rambling around in the woods where you get told hands and they charge around under their own steam). There starts to be a few more times you can connect a bit, rather than try to keep your head above water. It was a few years for us though...
And once they will reliably stay with a sitter (without screaming the place down/ needing feeding every twenty minutes) you can even try and go out together without a child or three... maybe once in a blue moon! It does take a bit of effort though (on both sides). Life can be fairly relentless.
Totally normal for us... We both work, travel and have hectic social lives, exercise etc. we have one non negotiable night in together a week where we watch our latest box set and drink wine. This might not be enough for many couples but it works for our lifestyle. As DC have got older life is a little less stressed as they need us less so we started to put more effort into each other.
How long are his baths fgs?
I am of the belief (and I had theee kids the Same ages as you now 18.16.14, )that you simply can't work full time and do it properly. Something has to give. If that means a lifestyle change then make it.
Two reasons. Y11 parents eve. All was not so good but his teacher said "you can tell he was read to as a child" * wells up *
And their happy memories of running up to me to sniff me in the playground to see if I'd baked something.
It doesn't last long. Really give yourselves a break. And a chance to be nice to each other
Hmm..not to be a doomsayer but that was kind of like me and ex. I thought we were just riding out the tough time til both kids were at school and more independent, less chilcare needed etc. Unfortunately about 6 months before that he decided it was all too hard and fucked off with ow. He then subsequently blamed it on me for not having shared interests etc. I'm just saying don't drift..take an active look at things (with him)..and positively identify where you might both try to prioritise the relationship or be more mindful of the other. This isn't about placating him with sex or attention or whatever to stop him straying - just being conscious together than relationships can die of neglect if a catalyst comes along at just the wrong time.
Hmmm. At the end of the day you are both shattered but he has the energy to go to the gym? Sounds like he has a better deal. Exercise has the benefit of generating energy, helping you sleep and maintaining your fitness levels so that you can cope with the demands of parenthood. Being pregnant doesn't mean you should stop exercising. How about you swap with him one or two evening trips to the gym and then you might both feel better.
Angry bird, that's what I'm afraid of - that by the time the kids are older our relationship may have withered beyond repair. I think I'm going to talk to him tonight and just see if we can build on our bond a little. I do exercise too - now I'm pregnant i go swimming and do Pilates however this is yet more time away from home and making us even more like passing ships. This isn't really about who gets a better deal, because he is a diamond with the kids and around the house and I think it's all fairly even. What it's more about it that when all the menial tasks are done and the kids are in bed, we don't do/say/touch a lot!! For example he hasn't asked how I'm feeling (pregnancy wise) in ages. He hasn't rolled over in bed and out his hands on the bump etc. As a result I have stepped back from being affectionate with him too and it's a self perpetuating cycling then. Just want to break it and get back to being close again. Thank you for all your great replies 👍
Dr Scholl......are you suggesting that parents who work full time dont read to their kids?
That's exactly why I'm knackered because I work all day then rush home to read/bake/--darn my fucking socks.--
no. I am not.
I could never have done it as well as I did - each kid different book, long stories - if I were working though.
Maybe you could.
I find we slip into that doldrum of relationship too easily with three small children, but the cure is equally easy. Spend an hour or two alone together. Get a friend to sit in your house while you go to the pub. Meet for lunch. Go for a walk while the children are on play dates.
It only needs to happen every couple of weeks, doesn't need long or require any special 'date night' effort. Just spend a little time together.
I know that isn't as easy as it sounds in busy lives, but if you see it as a priority for relationship maintenance, there are more possibilities than you think.
My aunt and uncle used to go to IKEA, put the kids in the crèche and have lunch together. (Meatballs, of course).
We have gone through phases like that where we lose affection. It has always come back because we both want it to deep down.
I am also a bit at suggestion that working parents don't read to their kids and fail to see the relevance of that point to this thread.
I think this it pretty normal when you you have young dc. There are only so many hours in a day and something has to give. Unfortunately that is usually your "couple time".
One thing to remember is that this will pass and it will get easier.
We found that it worked for both of us by going to bed at the same time, I could then read and sleep and dh could watch tv. Just being together made a difference. We also used to have breakfast together each morning and dinner at night, usually with the dc, but still at the same table.
Do you do bedtime routine together? That may help as you are having fun at the same time and sharing the job.
Do you have a cleaner? Would that help to give you some more time?
So so relieved to hear that it's quite common at this stage of our lives to be going through this. I think the message is that we must try a bit harder though. We do all tasks with the children together, bathtimes, dinner times, bed times and we've had a lovely family day together today as we both had some annual leave to take. Played out in the garden all together and then went out for lunch. Our time as a family is great and our parenting views/styles are the same so no issues there and very much united. It just then sometimes feels like the kids go to bed and a switched is flicked and we go off and do separate things and stop talking so much.
I've asked him this evening if he's ok and told him i don't feel we are getting on so well at the moment and he took offence to that, doesn't think we have a problem at all and thinks I'm being paranoid and sensitive. I do wonder whether this pregnancy is making me a little cookoo
And not even the meatballs would get him to IKEA! He's more afraid of that shop that anything else ever created. In 15 years and several houses later, I think he's only been there once with me!
On the verge of getting a cleaner but it only they sorted through the piles of crap we accumulate then I would pay any amount of money for that! I spend my life sorting piles of
shit letters, clothes, toys left lying about the house
You are describing my marriage. We have a bigger gap between kiddies - ds1 is 7 and ds2 is a diddy 6m. OH is pretty crap at babies (no patience, hates sharing me etc.) and we were like you describe when ds1 was small. We got out mojo back when he was about 18m, though and we were doing great until ds2 arrived. We are more accepting of it all now, though. OH knows I need to be baby focused while ds2 is little. When we aren't too annoyed with each other we talk about it all and realise that deep down we know we are solid enough to get it all back together again once bubba is bigger. For now, though, it's feckin hard work, boring, a bit stressful and weirdly non-affectionate. I think it's called parenthood...?
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Do you eat supper together? Even if it's 20 mins pesto pasta and a glass of wine you're spending screen free time together and can chat about the day.
I also think going to bed at the same time helps. Although appreciate you'll be tired with pregnancy.
Any time you can get a babysitter go and do anything together - doesn't have to be forced romantic dinner. Swimming or gym together etc.
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