Marriage after children

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2007
Marriage after children
7
Tue, 07-26-2011 - 10:28pm

"Life will never be the same." How true when you transition to becoming a mom.

I thought my spouse would be able to travel this journey together with me, that it would be a wonderful joint adventure together will all of its joys and difficulties, but having a child has been a big divider. He just doesn't understand how much work it is to take care of a child (my daughter is now three), how life isn't the same when we didn't have her and why we can't do some things when we were childless (e.g., travel, etc), and also how much housework there is and that he never helps with (or if he lifts a finger, wow, he needs a ton of praise and never sees how much is still left). Anyway, I'm sure many of you are familiar with this.

I've worked on this a lot. Read marriage books, endlessly tried talking about it in many different ways, tried many different strategies, went to a marriage counselor together, and I've really come to the conclusion that he doesn't get it and I don't think he's ever going to get it like other moms get it. What am I supposed to do? I am not happy about this at all, and this is what we fight about all the time. We understood each other so well before having a child, and now we are oceans apart. I can figure out ways to tolerate him (I'm not okay with divorce as an option for me), but it gets very trying when my work and stress is so invisible to him and even dismissed as not important, when he makes *such a big deal* when he does the tiniest thing.

Sigh... I never ever thought I'd be the quiet wife in the background, but all of the ways of trying to get him to hear me and understand have not worked. So let's just say that he's never going to understand. How can I get myself strong enough to ignore his obtuseness and be a bigger person, without seeming like I'm passive (a trait that I abhor)? It's hard when this person lives with you every day.

Thank you for any advice you can give. We've been together 14 years.

Avatar for hugss
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-25-2010
Tue, 07-26-2011 - 10:50pm

Hi & welcome to the board :)

Did you talk about having chicldren beforehand & he wanted them as well?
Sorry you are having to go through this
It is true having kids change your life but all for the better we hope
While yes it does have ups & downs .. it is suppose to be team work
Do you both work outside the home?
I am not sure why he doesn't get it ::sigh::
You can still do many/most of what you did before kids after.
While it is a bit more diffcult .. it all can be done.
Traveling & other activities are all possible.
I think you & him need to sit down again & talk this out
Commincation is so important
Honestly I think I would try & go back to counseling . .several times
You should not have to *settle* with regards to this.
Let's hear what others suggest so do check back.
Hang in there .. it has to get better ;)




iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 07-26-2011 - 11:43pm

I have 2 children myself - 3 yrs and 14 mos. I work FT outside the home and play ice hockey once/week. Honestly, I am not stressed out at all. My hubby helps out but he certainly doesn't do as much as he thinks he does!

You've basically done almost everything you can, but what SPECIFICALLY are you expecting of your husband that you are not getting? Do you need him to see the "dirt" and just clean it? Did he do this before your child? It's been my experience that very few men (my brother is a perfect exception to this rule - he's a neat freak) have the same standards of cleanliness that women do. I accept that my DH won't clean the bathroom w/o being asked. His bathroom was pretty dirty when he was a bachelor...so I knew what I was getting. But our DS1 accidently gets pee on the floor sometimes so when I'm tired of cleaning it, I'll just say, "it's YOUR turn to clean that bathroom floor - I'm tired of doing it." Of course, he won't think to do the toilet/sink/counter while he's in there...I didn't say anything about those things and he didn't notice all the dust...LOL...you get my point.

My DH works 12 hour days so I don't ask him to do cooking - tho sometimes I'm just not up to making dinner and lunches so he has stews and hearty soups he can take to work. Or he'll make himself some rice and take a meat. I'll just say I was too tired and that's the end of it.

So my 2 tips are: ASK him for specific things. Honey, could you do X? (don't set time limits on these things tho) Hand him your child and let him take care of her. Take a hot bath or something. And the second one is to pull back what you are doing. If you are stressed out then you are doing too much. Whether it means canned lunches or laundry piling up, so be it. It's not the end of the world and not worth your mental health.

Maybe he doesn't get it bc he doesn't value a clean home as much as you do. Maybe he doesn't see the need to do some of the things you might be doing. I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm just saying it's hard to be appreciative for things we don't value. Either we do or we don't.

The other day, I was exhausted after doing 6 loads of laundry. I left 2 full loads in baskets on the stairs so he could NOT get up to bed w/o picking them up. He took the hint and brought it up, folded and put it away :) What if he hadn't? Well...he would be the one w/o clean underwear in the morning, not me!!!

Hopefully you can find some compromise :)

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2011
Wed, 07-27-2011 - 4:39pm

Passion gave you great advise - I couldn't have said it better

Is he telling you he won't help you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2004
Fri, 07-29-2011 - 7:07am

One thing I have learned, is that people who says

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Sat, 07-30-2011 - 10:15pm
LOL, that's great advice. I agree about travelling. DS1 is 3 yrs old and he has been camping, RVing, Toronto, Florida and road trips every few weeks. But then we've always carted him around everywhere (even places where ppl gave us the "they are bringing a baby HERE? faces). Some ppl *think* their kids can't do it bc they have strict schedules and have trained their kids not to do it...

Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2004
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 5:12am

Traveling with small kids is great, you

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-25-2010
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 10:05am
We started taking our kids camping when they were very young,
Of course it was tough at first but they eventually adapted as most kids do :)