Relationship Falling Apart!

Updated on August 23, 2015
B.K. asks from San Rafael, CA
7 answers

Hi Mammas,
I guess it's safe to say i have reached a point of dispair and need some encouraging words. I am a 23 year old mom to my first baby, a 4 month little boy. His father and I have been together for almost 4 years, he is 10 years my senior (try not to judge, love sees past age). We were not planning our pregnancy, but were at a point of our relationship where we embraced the suprise.
I have always felt that we have shared a strong bond; we have been through alot together and I never thought I would feel this way. I feel like he has become very lazy since the birth of our baby. I am a go getter! I went back to work 1 week after a c section, (I manage property for family so baby comes with)and It kills me,i have to ride his butt for him to take out the trash. We can't even make it two days without having a full blowen fight! For the time being I have moved in with my baby to my fathers house, I don't want Levi to be in an angry house hold. I am just so sad that it had come to this. Our ability to communicate is gone! I thought with leaving for a little while he might get his act together and show a little more effort around the house and in giving me help with the little guy. He did at first (for like 2 days!) and is right back to square one, with dishes in the sink and trash spilling out of the can. He was never like this before, and I have no idea what has triggered it! When I call him out on it he is very defensive and turns it around on me.
Anyone have similar situations you can share, or advice to give? I love my partner with all my heart, but for us to have a functional relationship I need some majior changes to take place.
Thanks Mamas! Please forgive my horrible spelling, never been a strong point :-)

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all of your encouraging words and advice. Before I started staying with my dad, I literally begged my partner to go to thearpy with me. I put the ball in his court and told him that if saving our relationship meant anything to him that he would make an appointment for us to go (seeing that he had all the free time in the world while on a 3 week lay off)...no appointment. Still after being out of the house with his son he still has not made arrangements for us to see a thearpist. I guess in the meantime that I am going to continue staying with my dad and keep putting my energy into being the best, most loving mother I can possibly be. Thank you again to all who took the time to answer my request!

More Answers

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H.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi B.,

I read your request yesterday and have been wanting to have a minute to write back ever since.

The first year is SO hard on BOTH parents. My husband and I went through a similarly difficult time, as did some of my friends. I think it is normal for a couple to take some time to find a balance after having a baby. If you were happy before the baby came into the picture, please don't give up on your marriage now!

I'm not as much of a go getter as you are, but I do "get things done" more than my husband does. Before the baby it was okay because I had time to do more around the home and also be a loving, supportive wife. But after the baby was born I didn't have any time for my husband and was constantly irritated that he wasn't doing enough around the house or for the baby. I'm also ashamed to say that I was really mean to him because I was so frustrated.

Not to give him too much of an excuse for not taking care of his responsibilities, it might be helpful to think of how hard it must be for your husband if he is getting less of your attention and expected to take on more responsibilities. I had a hard time seeing this because I would say to myself that I had MUCH more responsibilities taking care of our baby than my husband did, the LEAST he could do was take care of things around the house. But I don't think it's that simple.

I'm not sure what suggestions to give besides letting some time pass (but keep trying together!) before making a big decision about your marriage because after the first year it gets easier. As hard as it is, try to be patient and understanding with your husband. I think postpartum hormones played a big part of me being intolerant as well. And I have to also admit that I was reacting from my own frustration of not being as much in control of things as I wanted to be. I think this was actually a huge part of the problem. Also going from having a full-time career to being home all the time with my beautiful baby.

Not sure if any of my experiences sound familiar. Even if they don't, take some time to really work this out with your husband for your sake, for your husband, and especially for your son.

Good luck! Let me know how things go (if you want)!

H.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hmmmm this doesn't sound very good my dear. Are you married to the father? Did you live with him before the baby? I hate to say it but men aren't always showing you the real them until you live with them. I had to learn this the hard way with my first fiance. I had no idea how much of a nasty slob he was, even though I spent weekends with him. Anyone can clean up their act for a couple of days, as you are seeing. My suggestion is that you both sit down BEFORE a fight, without your son around, and have a conversation. If he feels like he can't or doesn't want to change then there is not much you can do. You will have to make a choice... stay and accept things the way they are or leave. Babies change things...every thing. However, since you are both working he does need to help out with the home stuff or be able to make enough to have you stay at home so you can do the domestic goddess role.
By the way... my boyfriend and I are 13 years apart so trust me when I say that it won't get easier to "re-train" him because the older they get the more set in their ways they become.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.R.

answers from San Francisco on

When I got married I started couples counseling right away. It was not business as usual, even though we had been together for 5 years before we were married. It was very helful. It helped us learn about our triggers with each other and how to communicate about them. I am a marriage family counselor. You are free to call me ###-###-####. I could meet with you or suggest other therapists.

Good luck!!!!!
M. Ross

1 mom found this helpful
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D.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi B.,

All is not lost. In fact I think it's pretty normal behavior. I think there are two things that could be going on here.

First, it sounds to me like he may be having an issue with the responsibility of being a Dad and is therefore almost regressing to the point of being a child himself - ie. not taking out the trash, not doing his own dishes, not taking responsibility for his actions, turning it around on you, etc - almost like a rebellious teenager would. You can't expect him to be a go-getter just because you are, but if his behavior has changed drastically since you had the baby then you need to try to get to the bottom of what is going on with him.

The second thing I would say is that the first year of parenthood is HARD on even the strongest relationships. My husband and I, who had literally never had an argument in 5 years together before our son was born, fought like cats and dogs for the first year of our son's life. I literally started thinking, "Who is this guy? How did I end up married to such an a**hole.?" But with time and seemingly endless hours of talking it through we finally came out the other side of it. For us the root of it was that he felt like I was always critisizing him and that I thought he wasn't a good father, which could not have been further from the truth, but because he was feeling insecure about whether he had the 'stuff' in him to be a good Dad (which is totally normal) he then read perfectly innocent comments or suggestions from me as criticism, which meant he was always on the defensive and blah blah blah. It took us about 8 months of seemingly constant bickering to get there, but we finally did and now we're back to normal, working as a team, and incredibly happy.

I suppose my only suggestion is to talk it through with him and try to get to the bottom of what is going on. Be patient. Don't judge. Don't be dismissive and try to do more listening than talking. If you can't talk then go and see a counselor. I am sure someone here can suggest someone in your area. It will be worth it in the end. I promise.

Take care and good luck.
D..x

1 mom found this helpful
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J.P.

answers from San Francisco on

A lot of what the other moms said, I would agree with. I just wanted to recommend "The Marriage Makeover" by Dr. Joshua Coleman. I saw him speak & read this book when my marriage was falling apart. It saved us, I'm sure. Gave me a more focused path & tools to work with.

Dont loose hope.

1 mom found this helpful
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Y.R.

answers from San Francisco on

What wonderful words of advice from Diana! The only thing I have to add is that in addition to feeling overwhelmed he may also be a little depressed? Men can get postpartum depression as well, particularly when the reality/responsibility of parenthood sets in.

I agree that feeling overly criticized is very common for first time fathers. We first time mothers have a way of thinking our way is the only way when it comes to raising our babies! Try not to be too hard on him and pick your battles. Remember to recognize him for things he does well. Fathers tend to have very different parenting styles, but it's a good thing (scientifically proven) for the kids!

Best of luck to you. Try to keep the lines of communication open. It usually does get better, as long as you are both committed to the relationship.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.S.

answers from New York on

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