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How can a marriage survive a baby?

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#1 Kylie Orr

Posted 16 February 2010 - 09:30 AM

My husband doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day. “American consumerist load of crap,” to be exact. He is more than happy for me to believe in it, if that translates to me buying him a random gift or making him breakfast in bed. I've yet to submit to the temptation of purchasing a ghastly stuffed toy with a big faux silk love heart saying “I wub you, pookie” and encouraging him to put it on the dashboard of his car. There's always next year.

I’m not a high maintenance wife. I’d be more than content if for Valentine’s Day he filled my car with petrol instead of leaving it on empty when he takes it for a spin down to the hardware shop on the weekend. If he really wanted to show his love, he could refrain from leaving poo slides every morning in the only toilet in the house. But that would really just be icing.

He does not lack romance, my husband, he just sees it in different places. They are not in the bottom of a chocolate box, a bunch of flowers or a ginormous diamond ring. He sees the romance in taking the kids off my hands for a few hours when I am shedding grey hair on the spot. Or perhaps it is a safety standard. He recognises my need for space and encourages me to go to "Yoghurt class" (Yoga) and on girl’s nights out. These things are greatly appreciated, even if not traditional romantic gestures.

This year we have been married ten years. Yay us! I have no idea how we got here. Well, I do. He was my rebound man. Gotta be careful of those. You can end up married with three kids and raising a mortgage. What I mean is, how the hell did we survive through the last ten years and still like each other?

Babies do weird things to people. They do even stranger things to couples. Firstly, they turn them into googling (in both senses of the word), teary idiots who stand over cots for hours on end revelling in their brilliance at creating such a perfect being. They also turn two devoted lovers into complete rambling morons functioning on no sleep. This can lead to some testy times in the early days.

When you are full of baby, everyone is full of wisdom. So much attention is directed to the birth – music, midwives, MEDICATION, mania, miracles. Little prepares you for when you take that miniature bundle of noise home and are expected to have some idea what to do with it. When the solid waste hits the rotary blades, tempers often result in some less than loving exchanges between partners.

When I was pregnant with test case number one, I was given more advice than you could bottle in a brewery but one wise droplet stuck with me. Never take to heart anything you or your partner say to each other at three in the morning. I smiled politely when it was said to me and thought, “we aren’t that kind of couple”. We don’t have loud, public arguments or engage in nasty bickering. Sure, we disagree but we’re pretty boring about it. We have an adult conversation and try to resolve it. We genuinely like each other. That’s when we are getting eight hour’s solid sleep.

The stress of a new baby doesn’t change how much you like or love your partner but it can sure as hell put it under the microscope. Differing parenting styles, varying abilities to function under stress and the ultimate refocussing of attention to a tiny person can all grate away at the core of a marriage. All of a sudden you realise your partner is useless under pressure or falls into a dictatorship role, telling you how to handle the situation. Perhaps you become a control freak about everything baby-related and don’t trust that they’ll be able to do it as well as you can.

Arguments about seemingly petty issues can turn a previously loving union into a battlefield. Division of labour – who will get on top of all that washing now that you have a mini-chucker and massive-pooper in the house? Who’s doing night feeds (not much choice if you’re supplying the boobs) and settling? Who’s cooking and cleaning? Whose turn is it to sleep-in?

My husband learnt quicker than the speed of light not to ask “Did the baby wake last night?” I was willing to provide him an instant vasectomy after spending hours trying to resettle a grumpy baby while he sucked the walls in through his nostrils. I was happy to do night feeds and settling because he had to get up and go to work. I apparently got to “sleep when the baby sleeps” in the day. Yeah, right.

And then there’s the issue of bacon. A drop in income is commonplace in most households when a baby arrives. That puts unspoken stress on the breadwinner and the loss of financial independence can often confound negative feelings of the person at home. Not to mention the financial strain of losing an income.

Popular literature speaks of making “date nights” with your partner and getting babysitters in once a month to force yourselves out of the house. Problem is, when there’s not much cash, a babysitter and a nightout pulls on the purse strings. Babies or older children often interrupt a night-in making date nights a fizzer. Falling asleep in the middle of dinner and drooling down your front doesn’t do much to solidify a loving moment.

Clearly my husband and I have managed through the years of babies, with ups and downs and a few firm words at ungodly hours of the morning. For some reason, we kept going back for more. There is no secret formula apart from a mutual respect and perhaps a good dose of stupidity thrown in. We seem to work out how to operate like a tag team and when one member starts losing their cool, the other steps in.

Most importantly, my husband has finally learnt that I am always right. Even when I’m wrong.  

Now I need to get him to find the mother of all eternity rings – perhaps one that fills the car with petrol and wipes the toilet clean?

Did you find the first few months after your baby was born stressful on the marriage? What helped you keep it together?


#2 b_con77

Posted 16 February 2010 - 03:15 PM

HI Kylie

Your husband sounds much like mine....not the romantic type. We have had 2 babies together and our 3rd on the way after 5 years of marriage (My son is from my first marriage that succumbed to the tribulations). Those first 3 years parenting together after the girls were born seem like an endless nightmare of no sleep, roaring arguments and spiteful words but on the flip side lots of amazing moments like the first time your baby opens its eyes or utters its first words or you just stand hand in hand and watch them sleep like little angels. Sometimes I wonder how we got through it with our sanity along with the dread of now going back and doing it all again. I have come to the conclusion that its the precious moments when you actually manage to have a late night cuddle in front of the TV or when something really bad happens and you overcome it by clinging to each other that gets you through. One wonderful moment has the ability to wash away 100 awful snipey moments. The minute my DH gives me a cuddle and says " It will be okay baby" I just know it will. Well thats how it is for us anyway.

Cheers Bianca

#3 anon60

Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:10 PM

10 years and 3 kids? You're still only newlyweds! laughing2.gif

#4 taddie

Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:25 PM

Did you find the first few months after your baby was born stressful on the marriage? What helped you keep it together?

Incredibly stressful. We ended up with a colic baby and I did nothing but sleep or beg for him to help when he got home. Strangely enough it bought us closer, all the tense times when we had no idea what to do and frantically tried everything to see if anything would work - yelling at each other to pat faster, walk bumpier (lol) ... I think we now believe we can get through anything.

We weren't married but our ability to work together under extreme stress and funnily enough my learning how to let myself depend on him has cemented my feeling that we were meant to be together original.gif

#5 justine89

Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:27 PM

QUOTE (mother-in-da-hood @ 16/02/2010, 10:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Clearly my husband and I have managed through the years of babies, with ups and downs and a few firm words at ungodly hours of the morning. For some reason, we kept going back for more. There is no secret formula apart from a mutual respect and perhaps a good dose of stupidity thrown in. We seem to work out how to operate like a tag team and when one member starts losing their cool, the other steps in.

Most importantly, my husband has finally learnt that I am always right. Even when I’m wrong.  


  biggrin.gif  what a good read.. My partner and I haven't been married for 10 years but we are engaged and have been together for 4 years, living together from the start. I am now 6 months pregnant and look forward to the times you explained that I'm sure i will go through. We have survived some pretty testing times and i do see ourselves as a team, but nothing enduring as a newborn in the home.. Though my relationship seems very accurate with  quote above and i agree there is no secret formula. Very interesting to read Kylie

#6 b_con77

Posted 16 February 2010 - 08:55 PM

10 years and 3 kids? You're still only newlyweds!

Hmmmm Anon60 So many many marriages dont make it that far these days I think 10 years and still happy is quite an achievement....My DH and I have been married 5 but together 10 and i know that its been alot of work to upkeep a healthy, happy relationship...every bit worth it having said that. So I say good on you Kylie and partner!


#7 4kids4smiles

Posted 16 February 2010 - 09:12 PM

We 'survive' by not comparing ourselves to 'seemingly' perfect parents. We talk, love, laugh....We argue, don't always agree about decisions to be made (yes also in front of the kids) have weeks without sex and we don't care about this. We have 4 kids under 6yrs and we fall asleep very quickly after climbing into bed, only to wake after a few hours and Yes we do still LOVE sex and yes we are very attracted to each other (and no my husband does not cheat on me...). We know all this is normal, done it 3 times before. We don't care about statistics, we don't worry about what we are 'supposed' to do to keep a good relationship and how we are 'supposed' to raise our kids! We are an incredible good team and we know that we want to grow up together and that these years with very very young kids will only be short....We look at the kids and look at each other and are just really really happy and proud of our relationship and uhm, produce. We are very strong minded people and try to look at things from our own perspective. For us there is no way we would ever give up our relationship because it is hard sometimes. It cannot always be perfect (whatever that is). Parents (especially new ones) should not be to hard on themselves. It is ok to struggle and it is ok to not have sex for a while and it is ok to call your husband/wife names (which you'll regret the next hour) or throw a plate against the wall after a terrible night without sleep (just not when the kids are around). We are only human......At the end of the day  we have a glass of wine and laugh about it! Don't take it all too seriously!  And one thing we've also learned after having 4 kids....try not to worry too much about the little things. Does it really matter that the house is a bit messy? The kids are happier with relaxed parents in a messy house than stressed parents in a clean house. And if the kids don't want to eat, ok, they will eat another time.......More importantly...look at them and see them grow and change into these funny little people! They are only a 'challenge' because they develop their own character and have a mind of their own and they don't always think and behave the way you would.....how boring would that b anyway! Anyway, this is how we 'survive'........

#8 WarriorWoman

Posted 16 February 2010 - 09:23 PM

Given that we've been together 13 years, married for 6 and have just had our first son - now 6 months - my response to you is..

I'll get back to you.

#9 anon60

Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:29 AM

QUOTE (b_con77 @ 16/02/2010, 09:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmmmm Anon60 So many many marriages dont make it that far these days I think 10 years and still happy is quite an achievement....My DH and I have been married 5 but together 10 and i know that its been alot of work to upkeep a healthy, happy relationship...every bit worth it having said that. So I say good on you Kylie and partner!



We're coming up to 28 years and have 4 kids, well 3 adults and one teen now. Been through 3 HSCs and one currently underway, 4 School certificates, teaching them to drive, plus other ups and downs.

Edited by anon60, 17 February 2010 - 07:29 AM.

#10 Hatshepsut

Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:38 AM

What a great article.  I've been married for 6 years, with my husband for 11 years and we've just had baby number 2.  The first few months are stressful, even more so this time around as we're juggling the needs of a rambuctious 2 1/2 year old at the same time.  

We managed by trying not to take things personally and looking after each other.  That has meant sharing the load - for example I express every day and hubby looks after the 2am feed so I can get some sleep (he works a late shift at work so this works) and I keep the kids from waking him up in the mornings so he gets some sleep.  We turn to each other, rather than on each other when things get hard and we have a really supportive group of friends and family who can help when we both struggle.  

I've seen friends' marriages hit rock bottom and it's usually because they're not looking after each other and are too concerned for their own needs (mostly sleep and chores) to think about how they can work together to meet both their needs and strengthen the relationship.  We're not perfect (far from it) but we're going strongly and while there's definitely less sex than we'd like the intimacy you get from raising kids together (mostly) makes up for it.

Best advice I've had "This too will pass" - it doesn't last forever!

#11 Guest_milliearchmum_*

Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:43 AM

Absolutely LOVE your post.

We've been married for 5yrs now (10yrs together) and have 2 gorgeous children ~ and hopefully more to come! I enjoy reading articles and posts like yours on marriage surviving children.

I think you have the right formula ~ mutual respect, know when to have a laugh and have those 'moments' with each other (whether that be cuddling on the couch while the children are having a sleep, watching your favourite show). I think if we all realise that no marriage is perfect and it will be a struggle at times then more marriages would stick through the hard times. I am an at-home Mum and have days where I'm 'over' doing all the house-work and caring for the children full-time, but it all goes away when I realise how lucky I am to have them and to have a husband who appreciates me (although it's not done on Valentines Day - or any other day for that matter with Romantic gestures) - it may be a 'that's the best dinner ever' (said to sausages & mash!) which makes me laugh ... and that's what it's all about.

My partner & I (although I hate to admit it!) is in no way perfect - but of course, I see him as been 'better than most' and love him dearly. We survive by laughing at our 'heated' moments (mostly due to sleep deprivation and always because of the stress of having children) and are both so proud of making our little children together. It has been the best journey by far - and am sure we'll survive the next 5yrs to get to where you are!

: )

#12 Miloou

Posted 17 February 2010 - 09:19 AM

I believed in romance and being thoughtful, random gifts, flowers, notes and in working to keep a relationship good. After 15 very happy years of marriage my wife's bio clock rang and in her late 30s she decided she wanted a child, even though we had always agreed we were just in it for ourselves, career, travel, lifestyle. She however had made up her mind. I knew if I didn't consent I would be damned forever for not giving her children. I knew if I did consent things were going to be difficult at our age raising children.

Along came a boy, beautiful and strong, a happy child who slept through after a few months. I took a lot of time off work, worked 3 days a week for the first 18 months and spent all my spare time helping out. Things were ok, difficult but we managed and our intimacy seemed to have survived but then my wife decided she wanted a second child. At age 40 she fell pregnant and we had a beautiful baby girl. I took more time off, did 90%+ of the housework. I was always there for her, I am not into drinking with mates or sofa loafing. But then things started to go awry. She became distant, uncommunicative, prone to anger and irrational at times. Our relationship never recovered. Eventually I realised she had post-natal depression. The medications turned her into an angry, resentful and scornful woman who blamed me for 'everything' and she left me, took the children and most of our wealth and that was that. It was a bizarre, surreal and deeply traumatic experience for me. Now 3 years later she has finally admitted to the depression and says she regrets every day leaving me but I am so hurt I cannot go back. She has changed so much and despite our beautiful children, being around her causes me nothing but pain and anguish.

For what it is worth I can say we had differing parenting styles, she didn't cope well under stress and was a control freak with our daughter. I wasn't allowed to take her anywhere by myself in the first year. We never had financial problems, I never abused my wife either physically or verbally. I gave her the car while I caught buses and trains to work but she rarely went out. We went to counselling but all she would say was that she wanted a divorce. In the end I gave her everything material she asked for because I wanted the best for my children. I have a good relationship now with my children, they have adjusted ok and we do lots together but I know I have lost something so wonderful. So my advice to any couple out there on a similar life path is beware, think about what you are doing and watch very carefully for any signs of depression. I think that the problem is a lot more prevalent that most would imagine, just look at all the newly separated and divorced women out there with young children.

#13 trying hard

Posted 17 February 2010 - 09:24 AM

I'll admit our relationship struggled in the year after our first son was born - no thoughts of separating or anything like that, it was more like he lived his life and I lived mine and occassionally we would live it together.  This was mostly from my point of view - he would go off to work, and have adult conversation, and get to have a lunch break, as well as tea breaks, and read the paper etc - little things that with a very difficult baby became totally non existent for me.  I felt like his life hadn't changed much, while I was barely keeping my head above water.  I was diagnosed with PND when our son was about 10 weeks old, and that diagnosis made me feel "better" about myself, but it was when I went back to work for two days a week when our son was 8 mths old (i hadn't planned too, but I needed to for my own sanity!) that we turned the corner and really became a family, rather than just three people who shared a house.  Through all this we still loved each other, didn't argue, we just didn't connect over anything but our son.  Luckily things were much better with our second child. biggrin.gif

And as for "date night" - when our son was 5 mths old, DH took me out for my birthday - we had dinner, then went to a movie - I fell asleep as soon as the lights went out and had the best sleep I'd had in 5 mths - DH said if we'd had enough money he would have gone and bought tickets to the next session as well instead of waking me up!

#14 petal71

Posted 17 February 2010 - 09:42 AM

Great thread. How wonderful to read about what you have all gone through and what were the hardest parts.

I have yet to experience the joys and strains of parenting - and as we are battling infertility at the moment, I pray that we do get to experience this, even though it seems a dream that is out of reach at times.

Even so I think a lot about what those early years will be like, and it does scare me. Neither my partner or I are that great at coping with loss of control, and I know that a new baby - and children in general brings - this aplenty. So we will have to learn! From what I read, the combination of being total overwhelmed by the challenges of a newborn, plus major sleep deprivation, plus radical change in your roles sounds really daunting. I can see why many relationships hit the skids...

Sometimes I think that a pre-birth set of counselling sessions to work on the relationship and the adjustments to parenting would be a lot more useful than antenatal classes. Birth gets all the attention yet it lasts a couple of days, parenting lasts 18 years plus.

I see him as been 'better than most'
- this is really interesting- I was reading an article in the W/E papers that this attitude is something that helps cement a relationship. I know I can transform my headspace from "he annoys me so much b/c XYZ" to "Ok, yes, but he does wonderful things to make me feel very special" by focusing on the positive. The Q is, can I do this when totally run-down from lack of sleep and frazzled by a crying bub!

Miloou - very sorry to hear what has happened. sad.gif It will be a long journey for you to come to terms with this Id imagine. I have to say, it sounds like you felt you didn't have much choice in the decision to have your first or second kids - which is a shame. I don't know whether you felt "controlled", but her not allowing you to take the baby anywhere by yourself sounds extreme. And what a shame she couldnt open up more in counselling so that you could see what the issues were and work through them.
I hope you can work through all this and that you continue to have a good relationship with your kids.

#15 BucketONuts

Posted 17 February 2010 - 11:57 AM

My DH & I have been married 5 yrs (together 6yrs), we have one DD and hope to have another one soon...The first few months after the birth I was still reeling from the shock of the birth (34hr labour & emergency c-sec aft pushing for 2hrs) and DH had started a new role. My mum had flown in to help but she
ended up making things worse. It ws the hardest time in our marriage...even now 2+ years on I still shudder at how close we came to just walking away. My family has a history of depression on both sides...and I was also sinking into PND ...I think the only thing that got DH & I through it is when we started talking to each other about what was going on instead of silently seething about the things that had or hadn't been done...

So yes children do affect a marriage and not always in the best ways...as a PP posted even after 15yrs together children changed his life..

Nobody is perfect but most people do go into a marriage/relationship thinking that things should be a particular way. When it doesn't match up many give up...I am glad my DH didn't give up on me...I am glad we have now reached a stage where we talk more openly about any reservations we might have about anything. We are a stronger couple for it...and better parents too....

#16 anon60

Posted 17 February 2010 - 12:01 PM

One of the things to remember, I think, is that while you're now parents to this little person, you are lovers and friends too. Don't neglect your relationship, it needs nurturing just as the baby does. I don't know how better to put it.

#17 Kylie Orr

Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:08 PM

Thanks for sharing your experiences, everyone.

I agree that your definition of quality time changes and a snuggle on the couch once the kids are (finally) asleep, or simply a big hug after a bad day are enough to keep the connection between partners alive.

anon60 - thank you for your wisdom. It is hard to see it when you are bogged down in the nappy changes & night feeds, frantic school and sports schedules and never ending demands, but one day, your children will all leave home and then you could well be staring at a stranger if you and your partner don't remember to nurture each other and the relationship.

Miloou - I am so sorry for the disintegration of your marriage. It must be very difficult to comes to terms with when you feel as though you were doing all the "right" things. See the reward in your lovely children and perhaps one day you will find a new partner who absolutely relishes and appreciates all those romantic gestures.

trying hard - ahh a girl of my own heart! I have a reputation for falling asleep in movies, although I used to do it prior to kids, so what does that say?!!  My husband actually tried taking me to see Star Wars on two different occasions (because I was proud of the fact I had never seen it) and when I was snoring within the first 10 minutes, he was very unimpressed. He walked about 10 paces ahead of me as we left the movies, so appalled at my lack of excitement!!

I'd love to hear anyone else's experiences and the silver lining after the storm!

#18 anon60

Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:15 PM

It is hard to see it when you are bogged down in the nappy changes & night feeds, frantic school and sports schedules and never ending demands,

I know - we had 3 under 37 months then 4 under 8.

#19 Snow68

Posted 19 February 2010 - 09:57 AM

We met late in life.  Me 30 and him 40, and it wasn't till I was 36 that we had our georgeous little man who is now 4 1/2.  It was hard as you live so many years really only thinking about yourselves and now there is someone else who ends up coming first.  The one thing my husband always said, and we have actually tried to live to that, our son comes first, because at the end of the day, yes he can adapt, but we found out when we moved interstate, it was not for him and he reacted quite badly to the move.  Hence we moved back to Melbourne after 12 months and all of us couldn't be happier, but you have to try these things.

I got one piece of excellent advice of a friend when I was pregnant and that was, do what ever works for you.  Take what other say and do what you are happy to do and what suits you.  For instance, our son starts off in his bed, but inevitably he ends up in ours.  But that's ok.  It happens most nights, but not every night.

The decision was made when he was two that my hubby would take a package after 30years in the company and be a stay at home dad.  Best decision ever made.  It is hard to go to work every day, I miss my little man terribly, but it works because we are able to give him one of us most of the time.  I believe this is part of the reason why he does like to come into our bed at night, to be close to me as he hasn't seen me most of the day.  But that works for us.

Yes, we have had some raging arguments, and some of them in front of our son, but at the end of the day, we all get over them and they don't happen very often.  Our son, J, acutally will say 'Everybody just calm down' while making calming jestures with his hands.  It's very cute, and even if it wasn't an arguement, just a discussion, it always cracks me up.  He has no fear, which is the way it should be.  He knows it's not about him and he knows it's only words.

We do try and spend some time just the two of us, but most of the time he is with us, and really, neither of us mind.  We are actually happy to have him with us, even if it means one of us is running around after him at whatever function we are at.

You work it out.  You do what works and frankly, not everyone will be happy with what you do.  I know my mother isn't, but she just deals with it and loves J heaps.



#20 hm6

Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:31 PM

Interesting topic - We have been married 21 yrs and 4 children later - things are pretty rosy!! Surviving babies together can be a challenge but we were lucky to be on the same page with most things to do with the kids. I think you need to sort differing parenting ideas early on because these challenges only get tougher as children turn into teens and suddenly its about what parties you are allowing them to go to etc - parents really need to have a united front during this time - makes it a much easier time for both the parents and the teens. My advice to any new parents is try not to sweat the small things  - we made this mistake sometimes ( everyone does) but in the end its not worth it - there are many speed humps ahead just try and relax and enjoy the ride. I realise some people have tougher challenges than others - like PND, sick babies, etc and that puts its own pressures on a relationship. I think its ok to argue in a relationship even healthy as long as both parties feel their point has been heard - my husband is a bit like Kylie's - I'm right even when I'm wrong!! I also think sleep deprivation does weird things to people and it should't be held against them!!

#21 justcallmemum

Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:18 PM

Real good topic.
I have been married for almost 7 years (together 9.5 yrs).
I really consider myself lucky. When our first child arrived our marriage was stronger than ever! It was like falling in love again. We had eachother to love and her (which he would say looked just like me and I felt she was exactly like him). He had a new found respect for me - he totally respected me before the baby arrived- but he saw me in a different light I guess. We were also lucky in that fact that she was nice and healthy with no complications... extreemly long 34hr birth that didnt go as planned, but my hardest battle was probably breast feeding (which I was only able to manage for 7-9wks....I still think this was good but I had wanted longer) and returning to work, but again this just made us closer.
We were both very maternal with her and it fell into place with know what we had to do. We went into TTC very ready and excited for the challenge.
My husband is a "new aged" husband and isnt affraid to do the ironing or mop the floors, if he can see I'm a little behind or over worked. The funny thing is he would appear to most to be VERY manly and not someone who would be like this (but he will also be the first person to not be embarassed telling "the boys"he is at home ironing for me.
All this being said we lost a baby inbetween our two children (at 16wks gestation) and this for a while did distance us, until I was out the the raw grief and let him in again. I had never experience depression unti this point and time.
Our second child's birth was the same as our daughters arrival.

#22 Kylie Orr

Posted 22 February 2010 - 10:16 PM

I think you need to sort differing parenting ideas early on because these challenges only get tougher as children turn into teens and suddenly its about what parties you are allowing them to go to etc - parents really need to have a united front during this time - makes it a much easier time for both the parents and the teens.

Spot on. When I see couples argue, it is more often than not about a parenting decision or style (one is perhaps stricter than the other etc). As much as we need to be individuals, I think an agreement in the general way in which the children will be raised can help couples unite.

As a side note, I came home from work last week to a loungeroom full of ironed shirts. Those neglected shirts had been in the ironing basket for MONTHS. I always found some reason not to do the ironing. My amazing DH tackled the basket whilst watching a taped episode of the Simpsons. What a gem. Maybe housework is the key to a healthy marriage?! biggrin.gif

#23 Nut

Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:21 PM

Did you find the first few months after your baby was born stressful on the marriage? What helped you keep it together?

No not at all. With both our children we had no problems. We've been through a lot with living in a small town for two years with no friends or family (or decent shopping facilities), years of fertility issues and miscarriages which had my husband slowly witness my outgoing self slip away into the shadows.

Having each baby for both of us was great. I will say in general that my standard irritations with him usually have something to do with the kids (coming home to find my son in long sleeves and no air conditioning on when it's 32 degrees outside and daughter in bed wearing a thick coverall with three blankets piled on top) but he is a loving, attentive father who wants the responsibility of caring for the children as much as he can, even when they were newborns. Perhaps especially so.

As others have said, I think the quality time is a big thing. We are very much "us". We do almost everything together, we watch the same shows, our computers are in the same room, we clean together, he likes to go shopping as a family on weekends. Every night we sit down for  while and watch TV. We also make a point of going to movies or dinner every once in a while and love our bedtime chats (well, whispers while DD is still in the room with us).

There has been no compromise on our relationship. If anything it's stronger than ever.

#24 f365

Posted 03 March 2010 - 11:22 AM

Kylie, great blog....Only one comment..."<you're> always right even when you are wrong" doesn't really help the 3 am morning moments of intense fellowship! Women have much advise on how men can improve themselves in a relationship. Men have very little, not because there aren't as many faults in women, rather because men are able to happily shrug off a lot. However, admitting and taking ownership of blame is not one of them. Whilst it may make you feel better to blame someone else, it doesn't change the fact that you made a bad call and were WRONG. Yes, take the AA aproach and admit that you are not perfect and instantaneously marriages will improve :-)

#25 Kylie Orr

Posted 04 March 2010 - 08:08 AM

f365 - hi and welcome. Thanks for your comment. That line was really just a throw away attempt at humour, I don't actually operate in my marriage as the higher, more correct being! I am more than happy to admit when I am wrong, but it is so often, it can get a little tiresome! There is not allocation of blame between us, particularly as we get older and tireder!! You are definitely right though - men tend to shrug off more or perhaps they just communicate less?

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