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Parenting

offshoot from "why do we have children?"-effect on marriage

47 replies

fallala · 19/03/2003 13:54

I see many have mentioned the inloveness they feel about their child/children.
Does anyone else feel this has actually spoiled their relationship with their partner because the love for the partner is so tame in comparison? I have definately found this to be a real downside of having children.

I used to think I loved Dh but compared with how I feel about my kids , forget it. I think he knows it too, thought I obviously don't express it.

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Philippat · 19/03/2003 14:29

I've not felt that way at all, fallala, my love for dh has definitely grown as I've experienced him as a father. Love dd to bits of course, but with dh it's a different thing - more a love made of choice rather than an instinctive thing.

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sobernow · 19/03/2003 14:34

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Tillysmummy · 19/03/2003 16:09

Fallala,

I love my dh just as much as ever although feel an all consuming love for dd which is a mixture of protectiveness and love which as Philipat suggests is instinctive.

Dh is a great dad. Sobernow, im totally with you there. Dh isn't actually useless round the house, just a bit lazy from time to time and always manages to sit transfixed in front of the cricket / golf / rugby / football for hours at a weekend whilst I tear around doing 6 million things! aaaagghhh. I find men's incapability to multi task infuriating too. If dh is looking after dd everything is in a mess when I get home. When I look after dd I entertain her, cook dinner, clean the kitchen, do the washing, need I say more ?!

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mum2toby · 19/03/2003 16:12

Fallala - I've got to agree, although dp and I didn't really gice each other a chance to develop our love before ds was on the way!! Silly really, but that's life. I love dp, but ds is my life (well, the biggest part of it anyway).

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elliott · 19/03/2003 16:26

Its a completely different thing. Having ds has strengthened and deepened my bond with dh - its about the most shared project I can think of! We are both besotted with ds and its great to have someone to share that with - he's about the only person who is actually interested in the minutiae of my day with ds (and vice versa!)
Though it is of course sometimes difficult to find time for just the two of us, and I sometimes worry that we've become too insular, and lack enough going on 'outside' to bring back fresh interest to our relationship.

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NQWWW · 19/03/2003 16:30

Fallala - me and my dp have always had a difficult relationship (to cut a long story very short - I was always affectionate at first and he had great problems showing any emotions at all, and in the end I cooled off too) and since our ds came along 2 years ago we definitely shower all our affection on him and I often wonder if we smother him this way. Its also very dispiriting for me seeing the dp's ability to show love to his ds when he has always failed to do so to me.

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prufrock · 19/03/2003 16:44

Definately love dh more as I have experienced how wonderful he is as a father. He has really suprised me with his ability to emotionally connect with dd - prior to this I used to complain that he was an uptight, emotionally deficient $^%*&.

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Clarinet60 · 19/03/2003 17:43

sobernow - your post could be mine.
I expected the love for a child to be different and more intense, so wasn't thrown by the comparison to DH. It's the first time in your life that you love someone more than yourself (having kids).
My problems with DH are definitely traceable to the arrival of DS1, but mostly because the uselessness of (some) men suddenly matters.

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Claireandrich · 19/03/2003 18:15

I still adore my DH after DD was born 11 months ago. It has brought us even closer together, although we both rel=alise that we don't have as much 'us' time as before. We make time for each other after DD has gone to bed. I think the love I feel for DD is completely different to what I feel for DH though, as the others have said.

DH is a fab dad. He adores DD as much as I do but he still tells me he loves me everyday, and it is always said with meaning. He helps round the house and does lots of stuff for DD and me too. I guess I am lucky though.

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susanmt · 19/03/2003 20:21

Not at all. My husband and I have become closer since we became parents. We don't have as much time together, we are tired, we are often grumpy, but having children together has brought us closer than we could ever have dreamed. I feel like I know a whole other bit to him that I otherwise would never have experienced. He confessed to me (after dd was born) that 3 weeks after we got together (at age 19/20) he realised he wanted me to be the mother of his children, and it happening was like the fulfillment of a dream.
We are both very close to our children - me to both of them, dh more to dd, as he had to look after her a lot when she was tiny and I was so ill, although he has grown closer to ds through time.
I feel it is really important to remain close to dh. Although dd and ds will always be our children, one day they will grow up and hopefully, if we have been good parents, they will leave home and make lives for themselves. When that happens it will be just us again, and I am sure the love will still be there, if anything stronger for being parents together.

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fallala · 19/03/2003 20:37

goodness me, great response.
Funny lots of you have defended your relationships by saying how impressed you are at how good a father your husband is.
I can honestly say my dh is the best dad I have everseen but that does not detract from the fact I now feel my love for him is fairly minor in the great scheme of things.
Glad lots of you DON'T feel this way!

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slug · 19/03/2003 20:45

I've seen a completly different side to dh since he became a father. He's surprised even himself I think.

I think I love him more since the sluglet entered our lives. He's much more relaxed and happy, and we have more to talk about, like the endlessly cute things she does. Besides which, how could I fail to love someone who has such obviously good genes.

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lou33 · 19/03/2003 21:11

Dh expects me to love our kids more than I do him, and he is the same with me. I still love him, just differently and he has always been happy with that.

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Lindy · 20/03/2003 00:34

My reaction is the opposite (I am not feeling sorry for myself - just stating facts!!) - my DH is totally obsessed with our DS and much more 'in love' with him than I am - he only has eyes for DS when he gets home, I'm lucky to get a 'hello' once DS is in bed.

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Holly02 · 20/03/2003 03:06

Fallala I can relate to what you're saying. You don't mean for it to happen, it just does. DH and I used to hug each other quite a lot but I've found that I lavish so much affection on ds, that I don't feel the 'need' to do it with dh as much anymore. It's bad I know - I guess these are the little things that make marriages go downhill. But I really miss the alone time together with dh, just going away for a weekend or popping out to see a movie whenever you feel like it. I really think that having children can make you a lot less intimate with each other... that's my take on it anyway.

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Tortington · 20/03/2003 09:50

fallala, i think your right to make the seperation between fatherhood and being a good partner, as both relationships are very different. my huby knows that i love my children more than him - i have said so in discussions - the thing is he expects nothing less from me i think he wouldnt think of me quite the same way if i loved him before the children - we both think its right. i also think its right that he should love the children more than h loves me, however the feeling of love for a partner or husband it could be argued cant quite be put in the same catagory as he love for your children - maybe its like measuring dogs and cats because equally i love my husband so much sometimes it hurts - still the children will always come first.
after being maried at 17 and being pregnant then too, hubby and i have overcome many many things together, we have shown each other everything we are and as much as we know each other we are still learning becuase as we get older and with different life experiences, both our views and behaviours change. to twist this on its head i am the luckiest peson in the world to have the complete love of a great man and three fantastic children, all of whom have had the hardest of times.

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susanmt · 20/03/2003 10:14

I think I have a different take on things. I think I love my dh and my children differently, and although in the end I would save my children from a burning building (because dh could save himself!), I think I love dh more than them and would expect him to feel the same. Now you can all tell me I am a bad mother, but I know this is the way I want it to be. Only by being so devoted to each other can we provide the sort of totally secure family ilfe we want to provide for our children. We both have divorced parents, maybe that is where it comes from.

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Ghosty · 20/03/2003 10:30

My relationship with DH has changed a lot since DS was born. My DH found my PND very hard to cope with and I/we have always felt that our 'bubble' burst when DS was born. He is the most fantastic father and I can't fault him around the house ... but I always have felt since DS was born that I come down the list in DH's life ... after cricket, DS and work ... He always used to be really romantic and loving, always thinking of me, and going out of his way to make me happy ... now he comes home from work and only has eyes for DS.
We have talked about it on several occasions and I know that I have changed towards him and life too so I am not the life and soul of the party that I used to be ... and he finds that hard. He says that I am not the girl he married and I say he is not the bloke I married.
BUT ... a huge BUT ... we know we love eachother, we want to grow old together and every so often we make an effort to be like we used to be. We talk about how things have changed ... we acknowledge it and try hard to stay on an even keel. No-one said that it was going to be hearts and flowers all the way did they?
What I think is really important to remember is ... in 15 years or so DS will be grown up and will be off to lead his own life. DH and I know that and as much as we love DS (and we both love him desperately) he is not going to be there for us 24/7 when we are in our 50s and 60s. I think it is important that we don't put all our energies into DS totally so that when he leaves home we have nothing left between us ... We have to keep working at our marriage in order to be able to turn to eachother in 15 years time and have something to say to eachother that is not just about DS ...
Sorry ... a ramble ... it is night time here and I have had a glass of wine (or 2)

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Azzie · 20/03/2003 11:15

I love my dh BUT things are a lot different from the way they were before we had children, and while I love my kids to bits sometimes I resent what we've lost. Most of the things we used to do together are not things you can do with small children, and increasingly we don't seem to do much together at all. I find life somewhat dull at times (which I know to be dangerous!) whereas dh seems quite happy with a life of work, kids and DIY. Inevitably, because we don't do the things together that we used to, dh and I aren't as close as we used to be, which I find sad.

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Holly02 · 20/03/2003 11:43

Ditto Azzie. Gone are the days of exciting overseas holidays, staying out late, sleeping in and lazing around on weekends (for now anyway). Must admit I do miss that side of things, even though I love ds very much. Feel much the same as you do.

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Clarinet60 · 20/03/2003 19:20

susanmt, respeeeeeect ...... to you for being so honest, but your post has shocked the flip out of me. The love I feel for my boys outstrips what I feel for DH by a million miles, it's just a totally different kind of love. I do love DH (honest), but they come first, and I would hope he feels the same. I do not, in any way, think that you are a bad mother - far from it. I have met people who've said the same and I guess it makes for a good marriage and a happier home, but by jingo! (she says, searching desperately for inoffensive expression) I sure is shocked.

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Lindy · 20/03/2003 20:05

I fully endorse susanmt's and ghosty's comments, put a lot more eloquently than my few lines earlier. I actually find the strength of feeling that some parents express for their children totally amazing (does this make me a bad mother for not feeling like that?) ie: comments like they can't bear to think of their children starting school/leaving home/spending Christmas without them etc. I feel my role as a parent is to bring my child up to be independent and lead a fulfilling life - I have more than one friend who is so totally obsessed with her child/ren (I'm not talking tiny babies) that I would consider their marriages seriously at stake- they have no interest in their DH/DP's lives, apart from the children. I know this is extreme but surely when our children leave home we are left with our DH and then what?

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Clarinet60 · 20/03/2003 20:17

Then what, lindy? Wa-hay and off round the world I go, I've always thought. Only joking. Or am I?

I have to admit to being one of the obsessed mums, although I do love my time off from them and wish I had more of it. TBH, I think there is something about children that you either 'get' or you don't, a bit like a joke.

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Clarinet60 · 20/03/2003 20:22

Perhaps in those who really fall for their children hard, there is an example of natures way of ensuring that we put up with pregnancy, birth (ouch) b/feeding (more ouch), etc. I can't imagine wearing any of these if I didn't feel as OTT as I do. I know that it's totally missing in some women, so perhaps susanmt & lindy & ghosty represent a middle ground. TBH, I don't think I could do what I do if I didn't feel as I feel.

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SueW · 20/03/2003 21:15

My MIL had the same view as susanmt. I have to admit that I suspect my DD will be around a lot longer than DH and perhaps this affects the way I feel about him. A history of heart disease in his family, his father dead at 51yo and DH strongly suspects he will go the same way and does little to make a difference - drinks too much, eats high sat fat diet and smokes heavily. Also his mother died of stomach cancer in her early 60s.

My family however has a history of living well into their 70s, 80s and 90s (barring accidents). So I sort of feel that 13 years from now, I'll be on my own - with DH dead and DD just heading off to start her own life.

How does anyone presuade their DH to value his life?

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