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Does having children really strain a relationship?

(15 Posts)
Wherestheline Wed 05-Aug-20 15:03:50

I see everywhere that having children doesn’t ruin relationships it’s underlying things you just don’t notice till the children are there but for the most part my arguments with DP wouldn’t have happened without children.

I do 95% of childcare, all meals/baths/bedtimes and I think I’ve handled nearly every nappy on my own.
If I want to work on the days he’s at work it’s me who has to organise childcare and LO’s bag/lunch.
Lack of sex (still twice a week but not as much as either of us would like)
I do most of the cleaning because I’ve always got 100 other things to do and want it to be done before bath and bedtime whereas he would get to it in his own slothlike pace.

Now none of these things would be an issue if we hadn’t had a baby but in the same sense I‘ve jumped into motherhood and he’s dragging his heels. We have had a few arguments about it where I really really see him try but he looks like he’s just so unsure and can’t find his feet, tried leaving him to it and see if he could work it out on his own and came home from my shift to an absolute riot of a house and LO was given a packet of noodles for lunch and zero veggies (as a one off not awful but really not ideal)

Asides from all this LO loves him to bits (bit of a Disney dad) and he is a lovely person. He has been in one other relationship and it lasted 2 years then was single 10 before me and we have been together 5 years now and I know the change into family life was a bit much to adjust to.
He was great prior to LO but I feel awfully resentful and like a single parent. I hate having to ask him to do stuff and he should really take on some of the mental workload. Was it having a baby that strained our relationship or was it always doomed? I’d be lost without him and I do love him, but I’m so unsure if I’d be better off just officially becoming a single parent.

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Menora Wed 05-Aug-20 15:18:24

You don’t see how people manage under stress till they have children.
He retreats and is selfish. It’s made it more obvious. You just didn’t see it because it was less obvious than when you desperately are relying on someone to be your partner in parenthood

passthemustard Wed 05-Aug-20 15:18:55

I've been having a similar train of thought recently. Men (some) just don't seem to feel the same responsibility that women do towards raising children and taking care of the home. I don't know what the answer is.

Merename Wed 05-Aug-20 15:23:25

Read a great book ‘how not to hate your husband after kids’ - honestly! DH got me it as a joke and we both ended up reading it, it helped us both understand some things about the bomb that had gone off in our lives.

Wherestheline Wed 05-Aug-20 15:42:20

@Merename I’m going to go have a look for it now, if it continues like this I doubt it will continue for long sadly.

@passthemustard this is it exactly it’s just like he doesn’t see it as a us problem but more a me problem, which is insane as his mum was single and so absent during his childhood and he done everything for himself. Hopefully something shifts for you too soon.

@Menora that makes sense, there wasn’t any big responsibility he had to share before so I couldn’t see any of these failings.

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Shinyletsbebadguys Wed 05-Aug-20 15:50:03

I do honestly believe it tests the relationship more than anything else in the world. The long nights the stress the lack of time for yourselves. Exdh and I didn't make it , looking back with the benefit of hindsight I absolutely should have seen it coming. I don't regret it because I wouldn't have DC and the whole shebang is very worth it for that but it was hard going.

I was extremely careful before I let dp meet DC (although an unexpected stroke rather intervened) but long story short I can see the difference. Dp is partner based. Say 25 things need to be done for DC before leaving the house and he is on ot with 20 of them before I've finished the others some days so I believe had it been him in exdh shoes the marriage wouldn't have ended (I can't know for sure of course newborn stage sleep deprivation will test relationships , physical health and sanity)

A friend of mine who was marrying in an ofd situation asked me whether I thought it was ok for her to have a baby when her soon to be dh had said she can if she wants but he would be doing absolutely nothing to help. I told her I thought that would be it for the marriage (and yes I screwed up and asked her why in actual fuck did she want to marry him and have his kid if he said things like that....that conversation did not end well)

Aceofhearts3 Wed 05-Aug-20 15:53:39

To be honest I wouldn’t find someone like your bloke attractive if he showed himself to be so incompetent. I had one of these and the resentment just grows and grows until it is past the point of no return. There is no excuse for it. I would give him the benefit of the doubt but lay it on the line with him about what he needs to be doing, even if you have to show him (which you shouldn’t but I’ll give him some slack here). Mine was still fucking useless even after that so after plodding along I ended it as I wanted an equal partner who could see what needed doing and then did it. These men child are lucky they get any sex never mind twice a week.

Yeahnahmum Wed 05-Aug-20 16:05:51

Disney dad but a lazy man/ and louzy husband.
You will come to resent him over time. Kid or no kid.

Wherestheline Wed 05-Aug-20 16:35:08

My main worry is I don’t want to put everything into fixing it for it to not get better, I’ve been going in circles for about a year now trying to get him to understand he doesn’t do enough and I’m not sure how much longer I want to put into trying.

Will break my heart to end it but I’m so unsure if it’s really for the best to do it now rather than when I hate him and can’t coparent as well.

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TossACoinToYerWitcher Wed 05-Aug-20 17:54:14

On the flipside, my ex wanted to be a full-on stay at home mum and resented it when I helped. The trouble is, when I didn't help she ended up stressed and resented me because of that too.

She's now with a Disney Dad and seems much happier - mainly because I still look after the kids 50% of the time and sort out any school paperwork. Its the perfect solution from her viewpoint: invisible ex to share the burden of responsibility and take care of things and live-in lover who's fun, sweet and says nice things but isn't expected - ad doesn't need to - take on any responsibility at all.

TossACoinToYerWitcher Wed 05-Aug-20 17:57:36

Meant to add - in summary, I agree with Menora. Having kids tests your reactions to stress. My ex always had elements of needing to be in control but that was hugely exacerbated under stress. What was a bit of a cute quirk became something utterly toxic.

Wherestheline Wed 05-Aug-20 18:09:06

@TossACoinToYerWitcher I do kinda get annoyed when he gets off his arse to help cause it either seems half hearted or he does half a job, so I guess it’s partly me not wanting him to help and resenting that he doesn’t and partly there’s no point in asking him if I need to go in and finish the job regardless.

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deepwatersolo Wed 05-Aug-20 18:34:52

I've been having a similar train of thought recently. Men (some) just don't seem to feel the same responsibility that women do towards raising children and taking care of the home. I don't know what the answer is.

The only answer is to 'care less'. Which is easy to do when it comes to taking care of the home when there's just the both of you. But when kids come into play it is not so easy any more...'cause, who wants the kids to suffer just to make a point?

Aussiebean Wed 05-Aug-20 19:17:22

When I was pregnant with my first, I was told that having a baby was like throwing a grenade at your relationship

Fatted Wed 05-Aug-20 19:23:17

The best parenting advice I was given was that just because DH does something different to how I would do it, it doesn't mean that it is wrong. You need to learn how to compromise. If DH complained about how I did something I would tell him to go and do it himself then.

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