Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Love and Marriage

I've always heard that having children changes a marriage. I was prepared to take second status when the girls came. 

W and I have always had a great marriage. We've always gotten along great and have supported each other through our darkest times. He was the one holding my hand throughout every failed cycle and cautiously celebrating with me when we did finally get pregnant. We supported each other through graduate school as in our career endeavors.  

Lately though it doesn't feel like he's putting in the effort. It's only been for the past few weeks, but it's been rough. He was on call for work one weekend and ended up working the whole time. I think he's felt burned out since that weekend. 

As far as being a great dad goes, he's still holding up his end there. He's a great partner when it come to taking care of the girls and continues to help around the house. 

It's our marriage that's suffering at the expense of everything else. It feels like he doesn't have any extra energy left for me, for us. Don't get me wrong, I'm exhausted by the time the girls are in bed too, but that's just not a good excuse. Over the past few weeks I've asked W for a few things: to keep me company while I do something, to give me a massage, to get me something, etc. Every time he's told me "no" despite these being things he would have jumped to do for me in the past. 

I appreciate him working so that I can stay home. I love that he's an involved and active parent. I just wish his energy could expand to include me and our marriage. Am I asking too much of him? Is he spread too thin already?


  1. Just give him a bit of time. He got a new job and a new role as a father. As you said, he is helpful around. Perhaps he needs a bit of psychological rest.

  2. It's not for me to say whether you are asking too much of your husband. That's a question only he, and you, can answer.

    I will say, though, that if he is working full time outside the home and is also a great partner when it come to taking care of the girls and continuing to help around the house, as you've described, he is doing a lot. So it may well be that he simply doesn't have the physical or mental energy to do or give more.

    Is there a way you can bring this up to him in a nonjudgmental way? Just say something like "Recently there have been a few occasions when I have asked you to ______. These are things that you would have done for me before the girls were born, but now each time I asked your answer was no. What gives?" (Obviously not in these words. . . )

  3. Not asking too much at all. Everyone I know tells me that really it needs to be marriage FIRST, kids second. Obviously immediate needs need to be met for kids (food, safety, etc), but overall, you need to have a strong marriage in order to weather the storms of parenting. Good luck!

  4. I don't think you're asking too much, but I do think it's ok to let it slide on occasion when he needs to spend that time after the girls go down as alone time recharging to get back out and do it again the next day. I've found that the best thing I can do for myself and my marriage is to be honest about how I'm feeling about where we stand. If I need more, I ask for it, while also being ready to compromise if he's just feeling overwhelmed and needs some time/space/etc. I've felt this way before and one thing that helped us get back on track was me planning something for after the boys had gone to bed that I knew he'd like/appreciate. A movie, special snack, a board game he enjoys, etc. I've found that making sure hour spouse feels cared for helps them remember to reciprocate. Good luck! It's so hard to balance it all with kids, but with two the same age it's even more difficult!

  5. I appreciate the honesty of this post. Makes me feel normal. IF takes it's toll and so does parenthood. Along the way, I've learned to appreciate open communication even on the hardest of topics. It's the only way through it so tell him how you feel.

  6. I would say to take it slow, ask for what you need but don't overwhelm him. I feel really stretched myself and know how your hubby feels. There is just nothing left sometimes. I also need to make more of an effort in my marriage (so does my spouse) and its so important. But it can be very hard to accomplish. Good luck.

  7. Hi again,

    Liz, through your posts, I find your husband to be gold at times we live in. Where I come from, a woman can rarely expect any help with the kids and now being in the UK, I can see also that husbands/partners are not in rush to help and sometimes they even make problems and issues (esp if they were married before and have children. Imagine how stressful it is for those women who are battling infertility). Give W some time. His nature is good and he loves his family. Always remember good things he has done. This stage is only at the moment.

  8. I know in the past my hubby has commented that all my attention goes to the baby and he feels a bit left out. Maybe do something for him instead of asking him to do something for you...he might need a little attention. Just a thought...I know it's hard to spread your time and I only have one!

  9. My husband is great with the babies and loves to help where they are concerned. He works hard and has an awful commute. What he doesn't do is help with ANY chores around the house, except for dishes sometimes. All the chores he's done for 16 years of our marriage have gone out the window for some reason and it is driving me NUTS. I've asked him to do them a couple times, he says he will, and the weekend goes by without him doing his chores yet again. I asked him to do those chores for my Mother's Day gift, and they still didn't get done. I know what you mean about bein frustrated. Hang in there. I know it's rough, but I believe we have great husbands and fathers for our children. We just have to get past this stage somehow.