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How did your relationship change after having a baby?

(16 Posts)
dede124 Tue 31-Oct-17 19:17:37

My baby is nearly 2 weeks old and I feel like our relationship is going downhill. My partner was unbelievably supportive during my pregnancy nothing was too much trouble he wouldn't let me lift a finger. I was very emotional throughout and think I had mild antenatal depression and he supported me all the way. He was so excited leading up (more than me) about the baby as I struggled to come to terms with it. Now our beautiful baby girl is here and I feel like we are so distant, all he keeps saying is there is nothing wrong I'm just tired which is understandable so am I! That's how it is with a newborn baby. Whenever we are sitting together he is just on his phone doesn't really have a conversation with me, he doesn't hug me anymore or show me any attention at all. He is good with the baby in the night he does his fair share of nappy changing and feeding and we work it between us just fine that isn't a problem. Our relationship just isn't the same I guess a baby changes everything it's like we're just parents now and we have lost our closeness of that makes sense?. Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Does it get better?

Babababababybel23 Tue 31-Oct-17 19:21:10

2 months in here and nothing has changed much. I miss the cuddles though as we are both sleeping on the sofa still, it's just easier and warmer. We can't sleep next to each other so we don't get to cuddle at night anymore. But we are still closer than ever

Greedynan Tue 31-Oct-17 20:40:36

That first year after a baby is born is a huuuuge adjustment. The tiredness is a killer and caring for a new born can be relentless. I personally felt really overwhelmed and, in all honesty, I didn't enjoy motherhood in those early days like I hoped I would. It's really hard to get time alone with your partner and when you do get a moment you're either too tired or not in the mood.

What was your labour like? One of my friends had quite a traumatic birth and her DH ended up with mild ptsd.

Some men feel pushed aside after baby arrives as mum's attention is all on the baby.

What you're experiencing is a completely normal part of adjusting to life with a baby. Things have changed forever but a different and stronger bond can develop. Over time you'll both adjust and slowly things will become easier and you'll get opportunities to have time just the two of you. Xx

mindutopia Tue 31-Oct-17 20:59:36

Yes, your relationship changes tremendously. How it's different very much depends on where you are in terms of parenting. I found it was different in specific ways earlier on, but that changed as my dd got older (it's still very different from before, not 'worse' but it's different in different ways as some things become a bit more like they used to be, if that makes sense). In the early weeks and months, everything is very intense and overwhelming. It's emotionally intense, draining, exhausting, and I definitely found myself very touched out. I was always holding, caring for, thinking about this baby, and there was little space and energy for much else. When I did have some rare downtime, the last thing I wanted to do was have a conversation with my husband, cuddle with him, show affection to anyone else. I was on empty. I'm not sure either of us really had a conversation about anything other than our daughter for about 6 weeks. If we weren't doing something with her, I don't think either of us could muster the energy to do anything but stare at our phones, stare at the tv or sleep. It's really, really hard.

I would think of this as like a hurricane. You're in the eye of it now. You may not be able to have date nights and cuddle and talk about life like you did before. You just need to keep your heads down, be kind to each other, give each other time to re-charge however you need to, and weather the storm until you pop out on the other side of it. You aren't 'just parents' now and the closeness is still there. But it goes on the backburner for a bit. My dd is nearly 5 now. The first 11 months or so were tough, not as tough as the first 8 weeks, but things did get easier little by little and we had more time and energy for each other again. I would say we are closer now than we ever were, but we still have less energy and we probably actually talk less in terms of deep conversations because you're just so done by the end of the day and you need to sit down and de-compress and zone out a bit. But our actual emotional connection and love for each other is stronger than ever. But go easy on yourself and him. It will get easier, but it just takes time to get on your feet again.

Fragglewump Tue 31-Oct-17 21:03:34

My marriage changed in that my ex Dh revealed himself to be a selfish man child of the highest order which didn’t help my mental health or our relationship at all. Some men deal with the change in your attention from them to a baby very well and others handle it very badly. Try to stay connected to him if at all possible as things can get better - especially if you give each other reassurance, support and a break!

Misspilly88 Tue 31-Oct-17 21:06:05

Gosh it's so early. Not sure if this is recommended but me and my dh just had a mutual unspoken agreement just to suck it up for the first 18 months. Seemed to work ok for us. Take it easy on yourselves

QueenNefertitty Tue 31-Oct-17 21:09:54

He basically went into some kind of shock after the baby was born, and behaved like a cunt of the highest order for 6 months. Then we split up.

6 months later, he's come to his senses but I'm refusing to move back to London (I'm 300 miles away, have found an excellent cottage, a new dream job, and great nursery for DS who is now 1). We're exploring a long distance relationship- but if I'm honest, I'll never trust him enough to rely on him again like I did before DS was born.

ferriswheel Tue 31-Oct-17 21:33:46

What fraggle and queen said. I'm getting divorced. He couldn't not put himself first.

Fragglewump Tue 31-Oct-17 21:41:34

I stayed with him too long after I saw who he was......I couldn’t resolve the twat I was living with with the man he was pretending to be before we married. Hopefully he is having a small blip and will rally magnificently. Try not to let your new vulnerability be exploited by a man who’s not a worthy partner.

glow1984 Tue 31-Oct-17 21:45:09

Having a baby changes everything, and it does take a while to adjust. You are still in the early days -once you find your rhythm and adjust to your new life, I’m sure you’ll be fine.

Plus, being tired can cause your mental health to deteriorate so I am not surprised if you’re finding it difficult to engage with one another.

Rarity75 Tue 31-Oct-17 21:51:53

Mine went to the wall, 18 months of no affection and a porn addiction,

The icing on the cake was nursing a baby with a high fever whilst watching him through a reflection from the computer screen popping one off in the next room.

Thankfully despite some horrendous experiences (which will no doubt be shared on here) most couples manage. I think the most important thing is to remember who you are as a couple not just mummy and daddy. Good luck flowers

TammyswansonTwo Tue 31-Oct-17 21:53:39

You're both in survival mode right now. We just sort of fell into a panic, doing what needed to be done and not thinking too much about who was doing what and when. I was pumping for twins, one really sick and in the hospital, one at home, and me with my own health issues. I have very little memory of the first 8 months to be honest. Our relationship was challenged by the fact I had no sex drive and didn't want to be touched at all and that lasted until 10 months but has only fully improved now. Now at 13 months our relationship is great, but we do have some issues with imbalance of tasks that we really need to address. Otherwise all good. Take your time, don't panic - this is the hardest bit! X

user1493413286 Tue 31-Oct-17 22:08:37

It felt massively different at first - I was so focused on our baby I didn’t have room in my head for anything else, I felt my life changed beyond recognition while his seemed to have only altered slightly (not quite the case looking back), I was incredibly sleep deprived and managing the emotions of birth, physical impact on me, he was sleep deprived while holding down a full time job, he was she’ll shocked from our baby’s traumatic arrival and essentially we were both dealing with a massive change in our lives.
It was really rocky for the first few weeks but now 6 months on our relationship is recovering and I wouldn’t be without him.

Ruddygreattiger2016 Tue 31-Oct-17 22:28:31

We both looked forward to our dd being born, after the birth dh was very hands on/involved when he was home but when he went to work I was left holding the baby and feeling like a 1950's housewife (even though I was self employed & worked from home). Crippling exhaustion due to dd not sleeping, constant breastfeeding plus work is something I will never forget and I would never do that again. Also it became clear dh expected me to do the vast majority of childcare whilst still earning the same as before so I did think differently of him after that. We recently separated and if I am totally honest some of the reasons for me ending it stem from there.

Primaryteach87 Tue 31-Oct-17 22:35:51

Just to reassure you that we were the same at that stage and probably for a good four months after our first was born. Several years and extra children later and we are in a good place. First children are a massive shock to the system!

HeddaGarbled Tue 31-Oct-17 23:46:12

Hmm, I may be wrong about this but you do sound a bit princessy. He treated you like a princess during your pregnancy. Now you have a baby, so she needs to come first and that's exhausting both physically and emotionally. It's unreasonable to expect the same level of nurturing right now. The focus has to be on your child and it does sound like he's on the ball with that.

It's very very early days. Keep an eye on it and if in a few months' time, you still feel neglected, you will need to address it. But unless he is being cold and hostile to you right now, I would accept that he is experiencing the physical and emotional turmoil of new fatherhood and, quite rightly, concentrating his energies on your baby.

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