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While we previously discussed that, no, having kids is not really to blame for marriages that struggle post-baby, a recent study out of Open University helps to enrich(/complicate) the issue (as well as validate some of those who feel that having kids did impact their marriage for the worse).

Researchers found that having kids tends to shift priorities for most people, at least for most mothers. According to the Enduring Love online survey, completed by more than 4,000 adults in the UK, mothers are nearly twice as likely as fathers to say that their child/ren are the most important person in their life. Mothers are also more negative about relationship quality, their relationship with their partner, relationship maintenance and happiness with relationship/partner than childless women.

Fathers, on the other hand, are more likely than mothers to continue to value their partners as the most important person.

I’ve seen it in my office many times – an overwhelmed mother who feels under-supported and under-appreciated by her spouse, and a father who feels neglected and insignificant in the day-to-day family unit. Now, these aren’t the words that they typically use to express their situation; these are just my “nice” words. More often the wife may first explain how detached and irresponsible her husband is, how he doesn’t help out around the house or really understand how hard it is to take care of the kids, and how he’s no longer affectionate or loving with her. The husband may then retort back with how nitpicky or controlling his wife is, how he does help out around the house but it’s never good enough, how she never lets him have a break, and how she is no longer affectionate or loving with him, either. There is then often some more back-and-forth complete with interrupting, some eye rolling, or a even gesture to me followed by a “Do you see what I’m dealing with here?”

At the end of the day, it’s a married couple who has forgotten or neglected to be a married couple.

So does this mean moms are the ones to blame for all of the less satisfied marriages post-baby? Definitely not; it’s not as simple as that. Click here to read more and better understand how to protect your marriage from your kids.

Sarah Schmermund, MA specializes in marriage and family therapy, working with couples, individuals, and families via her private practice in Washington, D.C.
 

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I'll agree that Having children can put a monkey wrench into many marriages...Though in our marriage...struggling to conceive them - was the
...that hurt us more so. Just another perspective here....

Due to our wanting/ planning/ desiring children early on...then after our 1st son...struggling with 6 + yrs of infertility... many tests, pokes, crying on his shoulder, clomid, a surgery...and a near in vitro attempt...

For us...our children has been the greatest of blessings...we can see it no other way.... they fulfill our lives...and we can't imagine them not in it... After all that time TRYING (our hardest years).....it was like the Heavens opened upon us...... so likely our experience in the DESERT itself has affected our outlook in this...

Though I did make the mistake of being so Over Joyed for these little blessings once they started coming (we had another 5 in 9 yrs)...that I put Dad on the back burner / the man who helped me get them...our Time and enjoyment seemed to revolve around THEM....doing for them, it was always "Family vacations"....what will the kids enjoy...his only complaint was ... he wanted more sex (very common isn't [email protected]#$)....but he stuffed it .....while there I was.. putting the babies in bed with us....sometimes the others crashed on our bedroom floor....."Grand central station" it was...and he let me do [email protected]#$ ...both of us needed shaked ....

So yeah...we've lived & learned on this one... and hopefully wives will not be as mindless as I was ...they should be holding onto DAD in bed... not kissing the babies....
My husband LOVED, thrived on being a DAD though...

SarahSchmermund said: More often the wife may first explain how detached and irresponsible her husband is, how he doesn’t help out around the house or really understand how hard it is to take care of the kids, and how he’s no longer affectionate or loving with her.

The husband may then retort back with how nitpicky or controlling his wife is, how he does help out around the house but it’s never good enough, how she never lets him have a break, and how she is no longer affectionate or loving with him, either. There is then often some more back-and-forth complete with interrupting, some eye rolling, or a even gesture to me followed by a “Do you see what I’m dealing with here?”
This is one thing we never dealt with ....never had fights over Me feeling he wasn't doing enough... he told me early on ...I could have as many as I wanted ...so long as I took care of them.. meaning not expecting him to get up in the middle of the night & start complaining how much work they are.. .which I held my end of that bargain...always feeling they were life's greatest gifts... counted it all a Joy...and if I even dared start thinking otherwise.... I would remember the desert yrs -and a rush of Gratitude would slap me in the face...

I look upon raising Children similar to the message contained in this book >>
The Giving Tree
.... it is a story of Unconditional Love...Giving to them ...to enrich their lives...encouraging their friendships, helping them reach their dreams as they grow....


This makes us Happy (we are the )....we are only here for a season in their lives.. .to love, nurture, and prepare them for this big bad world... so they have wings to fly on their own....and it all goes too fast!!

We will miss these yrs... wishing for them back someday... so may we hold them tight, and kiss them as we live NOW.

But too.... Remember ourselves, keep the ROMANCE alive...this we have come full circle.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a happy Home where they feel the love of their parents towards each other, seeing up close & personal how they work towards every goal hand in hand, with communication ever flowing, laughter along the way....this gives them a great sense of security...and hope for their own marriages someday.
 

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This is spot on. Our marriage was pretty good, then when the kids arrived, all of a sudden (this is from my point of view), she got very nagging, and her immaturity started sticking out like a sore thumb. I do nothing right, when I get home I sometimes get the "death stare" that the kids are driving her crazy and I'm wasn't home to help. Meanwhile (again, from my POV), I'm the one telling her to go out with friends, go run errands, and I'll watch and play with the kids, and I honestly don't mind (in fact, it's much better when she's not there, as we can do our own thing without having her up my ass about everything).

Of course, talk to her and you'll get an earful about me, and some of it will be true.
Sounds all to familiar. Were you put to "last priority" as well?
 

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Meanwhile (again, from my POV), I'm the one telling her to go out with friends, go run errands, and I'll watch and play with the kids, and I honestly don't mind.
There you go, trying to solve her problems. Lesson: women just want to bish and have their bishing vindicated (only they call this "validating their feelings").

I'm pretty sure nothing ever gets fixed on Venus, but they're all okay with it because they just listen to each other's gripes.

*joking.... okay... half joking.

IMO, the beginning of the end of my marriage was her de-prioritization of our relationship once she became a mom. She wasn't interested in anything that wasn't kid related anymore.
 

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True character comes through adversity. Children can be a blessing and the most frustrating thing in the world but they have the gift of testing the core of a person. This is why when dating somebody make and if you wanto have kids someday see how they are and if they are not selfish. My ex was great in the sack but was always a selfish little girl inside. I didn't care because the sex made up for it but once we got pregnant the sex dropped to zero and I had deal with the selfish little girl everyday.

I would say children should be used as interrogators in gitmo. Give them just a few hours with a bullhorn and those guys will beg for death.
 

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I suppose being that it is 'her' baby she always knows whats best for it. She 'orders' her husband how to take care of it. This doesnt go down well. Also now the husband has to do more housework again her province. This all adds up to make her husband 'resent' her.
 

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I'm very happy he doesn't want children and we can't have any children together.I love our relationship as is and I like being able to give him a large chunk of my time and devotion.It's important to me.
Aside from that,I don't have much use for babies and young children.
I look back on how badly I struggled when my son was born all the way up til recently and I just cringe.I hated that time in my life so much.Not because I hated my child but bc I wasn't cut out for mothering.
He gets hugs and kisses and encouragement from me.he's a smart and independent young man.He also realizes that while mom loves him to pieces,she was more meant to be the aunt you run to when you're hurting or in trouble or confused about life matters.

I think having kids w/my husband wouldn't ruin our marriage but it would change it to something I wasn't content with and my discontent would ruin it.
 

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This is spot on. On the rare occasions that we go out, we get back and the kids are in bed. Wife spends half hour talking to babysitter about what they did, etc., then once sitter leaves, time for bed as she's tired. Isn't the point of going out partly to make sure you get couple time, which sex is a part of (but not the whole thing, certainly)? In her mind, since we went out, we can say that we got out of the house, then back to our routine. Plus, when we go out, she finds time to run errands, and half the time she invites her drama queen, PITA sister to come with us.
You're giving me flashbacks man. I spent one date night clothes shopping for the kids after we got ice cream. I was dumb enough to agree to walking over to check-out some new store that opened in the shopping center.
 

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Sorry, hate to bring up bad memories :D

My worst (and I've mentioned it before) was going out to a nice restaurant for the first time since the kids arrived, having a nice dinner and drinks, then instead of going to another bar for more drinks as we planned, ended up at a friends house. When we got home, wife puts on her flannel pj's and informs me that she'll have sex if I really want it, but that she's tired. Took me out of the mood and told her to forget it.
Ha... I got told once when I made a move after we got back from having drinks, "God, its late hon! If you wanted to have sex we should've stayed home." wtf lol
 
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I'm never having kids.
 

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^^^ It's sad but often the H gets dropped once you have kids, I did. Getting there is so much fun though:)
 

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Charlie,
When she invites her sister why don't you tell her to have a great time with sis, and that you are going:
- to the gym or
- out with a friend


[
IMO, the beginning of the end of my marriage was her de-prioritization of our relationship once she became a mom. She wasn't interested in anything that wasn't kid related anymore.
This is spot on. On the rare occasions that we go out, we get back and the kids are in bed. Wife spends half hour talking to babysitter about what they did, etc., then once sitter leaves, time for bed as she's tired. Isn't the point of going out partly to make sure you get couple time, which sex is a part of (but not the whole thing, certainly)? In her mind, since we went out, we can say that we got out of the house, then back to our routine. Plus, when we go out, she finds time to run errands, and half the time she invites her drama queen, PITA sister to come with us.[/QUOTE]
 

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"Having kids shift priorities"

After 10 years of this, we figured it out. Saved out marriage.
What did you figure out? What changes did you make that saved your marriage?
 

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Thank you for the article!

Honestly, our two kids have mainly been a pain, or more specifically the years until they got at least 5. I want to throw up when people say "ohhhh, they grow so fast", or "they are so wonderful".

It really kills off sex life. It kills the work outs, you cannot sleep well. Then all the F-int parents that cone for every f*%# birth day, which it seems to be too many of.

All it takes to get ED for a week is to hear another crying kid.

Anyways, maybe this is too much doom&igloos, but I don't see tons of men that come stronger out of fatherhood. After 5 years of this Hell man is dying off.
 

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Kids suck the life out of you, but in 15 to 20 years, you may be eligible for parole, and start to reintegrate into society - with or without your spouse.
 
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No one ever tells you what kids do to your marriage. They all act like it's a lovely storybook. It's not. It is hell.

My firstborn was a girl. Having her was a joy. I was so happy to be pregant after trying for three years. I had so much expectations and then........she came. I swear the kid came out judging me. When the nurse showed her to me, the girl looked into my soul and found me lacking. I was scared of her. Still am.

But she was perfect. The perfect baby, so well behaved. We took her everywhere we went. We went to dinner with her and she was quite and just watched everyone. She is an observer. She set us up really well by lying to us with all that perfection.

Because then the boy came. Lord help us for the next five years. If only I knew what was in store for us. It was hell. He slept the first six months on my chest. I slept in a different room with him for the first year of his life. All he did was cry and get sick. We were always at the doctor. We had sex once every six months. Giving birth to that boy messed up my body so badly. I was in pain for three years. No one ever talks about what giving birth does to your body.

We barely survived that boy. How we did it? I dont know. All I know is that it seemed like a bad dream and I am so happy it's over with. The only reason I kept the kid was because I love him so much. Otherwise, I would have happily given him to someone.

that boy was a terror and now he is a pain in my but* every day.

So dont bring kids in a shaky marriage. Because even in a strong marriage it would rock your foundation and leave it on shaky grounds.
 

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A friend of mine has the catch phrase "babies ruin lives".

I've seen it too many times. Some couples certainly are happy when they have a child, but most of the ones I know ended up considerably less happy. They of course hide it - its socially unacceptable to say "I wish I had never had kids", but I've been told that by several people in confidence.

The most common problem is couples who think that their lives will be the same, except with children. Children change everything.
 

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Agree - our marriage certainly took a turn when the kids arrived (us having kids was different from most, without going into details). After the kids arrived, especially around the time they were a year old, stress went up exponentially. I've recounted the details way too much here - suffice to say things aren't the same. It's to the point that I don't like the wife going with us when I take the kids somewhere.
 
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