Post # 1
Regular bee going anon.
I’m writing for advice/solidarity/help as a first time mom. Our baby is 4 months old and our marriage is really struggling.
For background, I have GAD and am in personal counseling so I have a counselor that I talk with regularly. We definitely had communication issues before (have been in marriage counseling since we have been married) but in the better part of the year year prior to trying to have a child, we had come leaps and bounds. During pregnancy of course it wasn’t perfect, but we had still managed to hold onto the positive that we had built after getting married.
Now our beautiful child is here and although he is a fantastic daddy, I often wonder why he is married to me because it doesn’t seem like he wants to be. I am struggling in trying to put things in perspective and don’t want to vent to family as I don’t want them to look at us or him in the negative. But basically I’m wondering if divorce is our best option because I am genuinely unhappy in our marriage (I’m joyful with the other relationships in my life and with our child) and I can tell he isn’t happy either
I’m sorry that this is so jumbled but basically I’m wondering if any other bees’ marriages struggled a lot in the first year of becoming new parents and if they were able to recover from it. How much of this is “normal” (I know that term is relative)? Please be kind as I am really having a rough weekend and could use a ::virtual:: hug.
Post # 2
I’m so sorry you are going through this. I can’t give you an answer but I do have a 3 month old and with Covid, our relationship is not the same. I miss the alone time and dates but we are still largely happy. I can’t wait for Covid to finally go away :/ How is the counseling going and why do you say he doesn’t want to be married to you? What are the specifics that lead you to say this?
Post # 3
I’m so sorry.
I have a 2 month old and having a baby definitely changes things. For us personally, it was for the better. My husband got a few days off work and we have been able to focus on just us. However, the time we spend is more precious now bc most of the time we’re focused on the baby, not each other, if that makes sense.
what is it specifically that makes you unhappy in your marriage? Is it something you had problems with before getting married or new things?
Post # 4
you made the decision to get married. You’ve been in counseling since you’ve gotten married. You’ve had a child together, and now you think it’s a good idea to get divorced? What makes you think he doesn’t want to be married to you? Does the marriage therapy even work at this point? I would think that now more than ever would be the time to really bond even more over raising a child together. You made a commitment. What is the counselor advising you both? You’re questioning if your husband even wants to be married to you. Do you feel like you’re dragging him to therapy?
Post # 5
Honestly, even the best relationships can be strained by a baby. So its understandable that yours might really be tested. Barring abuse/infidelity I would really encourage you not to make any decisions about your marriage until your baby is at least 12-18 months old. Having a baby is a HUGE life altering thing. Its normal for you guys to struggle a bit with the adjustment. Keep communicating, keep going to counseling, and understand that hormones/sleep deprivation are messing with your head. Give yourself and your husband time and grace.
Post # 6
I’m sorry you’re struggling, bee. Marriage problems are particularly isolating because you don’t want to tell anyone IRL for fear of vilifying your spouse to them.
Unless it is really terrible, I would not make any permanent relationship decisions in the first year after you have a baby. Sleep deprivation, hormones, and a huge new responsibility can wreak havoc on a marriage. I don’t think I felt like my normal self until my daughter was 2.
That being said, I don’t think you should just ignore the problem in the mean time. Are you unhappy with him because he doesn’t seem to want to be married to you or is there soemthing else? If it is just his apparent lack of interest in you, do you think he would take it to heart if you were honest that you feel like he doesn’t want to be married to you? Maybe say that you love him (if you do), and that it is hurting you to feel like he doesn’t like/love you anymore. That you miss how your relationship was in better days, and you’d like to get back to that. See if he would get on board? I feel like his response to that would give you a good idea if it’s just growing pains vs truly not wanting to be with you.
As for my personal experience–we did go through a rough patch when my daughter was a baby. And it has gotten better. DH matured a lot, and I am not so tired and only focused on the baby.
Post # 7
Big virtual hugs. The first few months with a new baby are tough in many ways – physically, mentally – and honestly I can’t even imagine how hard it must be doing it all with Covid-19! Your post isn’t very specific about your issues, but it might not be best to make big decisions about your relationship while you’re still in the newborn stage. Hang in there!
Post # 8
From my experience, my marriage was hard right after both of my kids it eventually gets better around the 5th month and then at about 9 months things are good again. Having a newborn is really hard-lack of sleep, feeding, breastfeeding/pumping/formula, money strains sometimes, entertaining company who wants to meet the baby, c-sections, etc.
Just give yourself some credit and think things will get better. I would not make any rash decisions until your baby is at least 6 months-1 year old unless divorce is sure what you want. Maybe you will decide to get divorced but from my experience twice this is totally normal.
Post # 9
Since you didn’t give many details on what you’re problems are specifically, just know that it’s normal for things to be a bit rocky after a baby. You are both navigating parenthood during a pandemic and likely with less of a support system than anticipated. Give yourself some grace. I also recommend finding some time everyday that you and your husband can spend together. and focus on just the two of you. Maybe after baby goes to sleep at night you have a cup of tea, or watch your favorite show together, or just hangout and talk. With my first we would put her in the carrier or stroller and go on long walks. It’s really easy to get completely absorbed by the new baby and all its needs.
Post # 10
You have a new baby during a pandemic. Of course things aren’t great right now. You said he is a fantastic daddy and you give no indication that there is abuse or infidelity. Not saying you should live an unfulfilled life, but this is a weird time right now. I would keep up with therapy- couples and individual – and give it some time.
Post # 11
I can say with all sincerity, the two hardest times in my marriage were
1) the first few months after the birth of our first child
2) the first few months after the birth of our second.
As PP mentioned, there is still so much that you are adjusting to, not to mention hormones, lack of sleep, and the responsibility of caring for a fragile little life. Then add in a pandemic? Honestly, I’d be shcoked if your marriage WASN’T in trouble.
I think continuing with individual therapy is a great bet, and I think the best thing you can do is give this a bit of time. That’s not to say that you should stay if you’re unhappy, but I know for myself once I started actually getting sleep and feeling like myself again, my outlook on a LOT of things changed.
If nothing else, giving it some time will also help you cement it’s the right choice: if you still feel this way in say 6 months, then I think you’ll be pretty confident what the right move is for you, and I don’t think you should ever do something so major as a divorce unless you’re 110% sure.
Post # 12
Sorry you’re going through this bee. I didnt read the comments because I was afraid that every PP was going to say there marriage after baby was stronger, happier, healthier…and that it would make me upset because that was not the case with mine. Don’t get me wrong. My husband is amazing and I love him, and we’re on ‘the other side’ of it now. But splitting did creep up in my mind about 4 months after welcoming my son. I’m happy to share more privately but my advice to you is to have an honest conversation and work on this relationship. Tell him that you want things to be better between the two of you not only for the sake of your child, but because of the love you share. Begin couples counseling (we did and it was so helpful!). Welcoming a new baby is a very stressful time in the relationship and it shifts the focus from the marriage to the baby. It’s one of the most difficult times I experienced in my 8 year relationship but there is joy on the other side, once everybody is recalibrated. ❤
Post # 13
Sweet Bee–you’ve just had a baby in the middle of a global pandemic and a terrible political climate. All of that is enough to put a strain on all sorts of relationships. I wouldn’t make any major decisions right now, give it some time and cut yourselves some slack. Hugs.
Post # 14
We had what I thought was an ironclad marriage before our child was born. Barely ever fought, great communication, mutual respect, etc. But we struggled in the months following our child’s birth. I felt unappreciated, stretched too thin, like my husband wasn’t carrying his weight. I was so resentful, constantly keeping score of all that I did and all that my husband didn’t do. Meanwhile he was working crazy hours and under a lot of stress at work, while also struggling with anxiety issues of his own. I was working part time from home while also being a full time Stay-At-Home Mom. I was sleep deprived and had no sex drive to speak of for many months, so we weren’t really connecting in that way either. It was hard, but we hung in there, had a number of come to Jesus talks, and gradually things improved. Our kid is almost two now and we are (and have been for over a year) in a really great place.
This is just my story of course. You didn’t give a lot of information about the specific issues you’re struggling with, so it’s hard to give specific advice. My general opinion is people shouldn’t make any life altering decisions in the first year of parenthood, but with the caveat that again you haven’t shared specifics. If things are really terrible in your marriage then maybe it is better to walk now, but if it’s more a feeling of being disconnected and resentful…I’d say stick it out for now, continue to communicate as openly as possible, and reevaluate in another 6 months or so.
Post # 15
Thank you so much to everyone that replied. Your kindness was felt and so greatly appreciated. I know a lot of you asked for specifics; I purposefully didn’t give them because either way, it’s clear our marriage satisfaction is at an all-time low. There is no abuse or infidelity whatsoever.
I am planning on replying back to individuals when I have a bigger chuck of time, I just really appreciate knowing that I am not alone. I really wish this was something that was talked about without stigma more openly amongst people so it wasn’t so polarizing and isolating when you go through it.