How did you maintain husband and wife relationship while being new parents?


#1

My wife and I seen to be in the funk of being new parents and are living as roommates. I noticed it last night and it depresses me. We see each other for about 2-3 hours a day during the week, and she works one day during the weekend. We have one day off together during the week, usually Sunday. It seems that the only thing we do together is going to Mass. Besides being parents to our sweet nine month old daughter, there is nothing else. We used to go out all the time, travel, and just do stuff. No we sit on opposite couches and stare blankly at the TV, and I find this sad. We have had relations once since our daughter was born, and that also does not help. I am just not sure what we can do to turn this around to go back to being husband and wife, and not mom and dad all the time. I am just really depressed over this, and it scares me that this is all I have to look forward to. We have also been talking about trying to have another child, but with this situation as is I am not sure. Just looking for advice on how or what anyone did to keep the husband/wife relationship going as you or are/were new parents. God Bless.


#2

Turn off the TV. Read the same book and talk about it. Dance in the living room.

Take the baby and GO places (they are amazing creatures, very portable when you don't drag along all the "modern conveniences"). Try outdoor events, concerts and art shows, rent a cabin on a lake for the weekend take out a boat (just get a baby life jacket). Don't be afraid of the baby!

Hire a baby sitter and go on a date once a week.

Realize, that your life HAS changed, it will never be the same - it will be better.


#3

We have no one that can watch the baby at night for us to go out other than my in-laws, but they watch her during the week, We don’t want to bother them on the weekends or at night. My wife just seems to have no interest in doing anything. Last night I actually slept in a different room because this is frustrating for me. It just seems at this point being near each other there is no conversation and we are both exhausted. This what i dreaded about having children that this would happen, and it has. We are both professionals and work takes a lot out of us as well.


#4

Been there, done that.

Ask the inlaws to watch the baby. You do it. Arrange a date for this weekend.

Find something going on in your town this Saturday and pack up the baby and go - even if it is just to the farmers market, buy some cookies and eat them in the park.

Get a copy of Matthew Kelly’s “Seven Levels of Intimacy” and read it. Don’t foget what brought you together. If you used to dance, you can dance in the living room after the baby goes to bed!

Maybe it is time to re-evaluate your lives, CAN you have everything?


#5

Have you communicated this with your wife? Maybe she is feeling similar but doesn’t want to bother you or thinks you are too tired or don’t want to do anything.

On Sunday go for a walk after Sunday dinner, go out to eat with the baby, this is what we do when feeling a little shut in. I agree with kage, babies are extremely portable. When in bed snuggle with your wife, maybe initiate something.

I am sorry if I come off a little harsh, I am just in shock that you have only had relations once in 9 months, which is something I can’t even fathom.


#6

I’d say ditto on many of the helpful posts above. Especially turning off the TV. Additionally, I’d strongly suggest that you two think about, pray about and discuss the idea of her becoming a homemaker full time. Our family was charging full speed in to the rat race. With both of us working, two kids and another on the way plus all the things that must be done to maintain a household we were miserable. Since my wife became a full time homemaker our family life has become much more peaceful. We can enjoy each other on the weekends instead of a mad rush to get the grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning, etc. done.

M


#7

My wife and I have talked about this many times, and it comes down to she is exhausted. Regarding relations, we have had relations once since we found out that my wife was pregnant, and it was 6 months after she had the baby. My wife thinks that she is fat/gross, but she is a six 6 after giving birth 9 months ago. My wife does not want to go out at night with the baby because she does not want to change the babies routine of bed at 7pm. My wife was and is my best friend, but trapped in a house every time we have free is hurting our relationship. She seems to just accept that this is the way it is, and that is what scares me. We do go out for breakfast usually after Mass on Sunday, and then that is it. On Sundays I try and do yard work and we are cleaning etc., as that is the only time that we are home together and we can switch off with the baby. All of our friends have had a baby in the last year, so finding a baby sitter is impossible, and my family is 5 hours away. I have suggested that we pray together and she is not interested, as she would rather do it in private.


#8

Has your wife spoken with her doctor about how she is feeling? It sounds as if she may be suffering from depression. I know all too well the toll depression can take on relationships. Her feelings of exhaustion and loss of interest may have a bioligical basis. It’s nor an easy thing to bring up, but if she is suffering from depression, it is highly treatable. I will keep you both in my prayers.


#9

The movies and the magazines tell your wife she can be:

Super executive

Super mommy

Super sexy wife

Guess what, no human being can be all those things at one time.

She needs to decide what is important.


#10

Could it be that your wife WANTS to stay in and tend the nest? If so, pressing her to go out may be a moot point. Why not treat her like a queen? Instead of watching whatever is on get a movie you know she'd like. I don't have kids but I think if I ever did I'd be very much the "stay at home" type. I don't have kids and I am that way now. If I ever go out it's to do something with friends or to hike but generally I'm happy staying home. That's why I have a home. I feel that if I wanted to be out all hours then I might as well rent a hotel room and have my stuff in my car. To someone who's extroverted they think that my feelings are just bizarre.

Woo her all over again. Be romantic and fun, but meet her where she's at. Forget it if it drives you crazy that you're "at home" People have retained relationships for thousands of years without a night on the town every week. That being said when she's up to it and dosn't think it will be harmful to your offspring go out on the town. When she's comfortable and ONLY when she's comfortable leave the baby at night. You're already asking alot of her becuase she's working.


#11

I second/third what previous posters have said. Never mind house/yard work. If your wife is depressed (speaking as a depressive myself) you need to get proactive. Take the baby with you in a sling or buggy. You tell your wife "Let's go to so and so" It's very hard to get the energy to do something, if you have to pack all the baby stuff. Woo your wife.
Exhaustion is real. Help here more, you cook, or go out for a meal-DH and I do this when we are both exhausted-pay someone else to do the cooking and washing up.


#12

look, here's the deal, your tired, she's tired. Try waking up in the middle of the night after both of you have had some sleep. get your groove on and go back to sleep. (that's what we used to do :p) Also, ask your wife if she feels a great deal of anxiety? This is very common in moms with new babys. This sucks up a lot of energy as well.


#13

[quote="mkipp, post:7, topic:194207"]
All of our friends have had a baby in the last year, so finding a baby sitter is impossible

[/quote]

Could you and your wife swap sitting duties with some other couples so everyone eventually gets their own date nights?


#14

well I don’t quite remember but since we had 4 pregnancies in 5 years it must have been at least theoretically possible to maintain the marital relationship. those years I must confess are now a dim blur


#15

Not sure if we could swap sitting duties as all our friends are professional couples and the only time we get to see our kids is at night before they go to bed. I hate to make excuses but these are all valid in our case. My wife thinks that she is ugly and fat, but she looks 95% the same as when I met her at 19, 12 years ago. She never initiates relations, and I have given up after being turned down for so long.


#16

Seriously, she needs to see her doctor about depression. Get her in to see her doc ASAP. You should go with her to voice your concerns.

In the mean time, let her get as much rest as possible. Fix her healthy meals, limit sugar, plenty of water, limit/no caffiene. Go for walks as a family.

Prayers for you both!


#17

Remember, grandma and grandpa can actually get a baby into bed at 7 PM.

It sounds as if she is depressed.


#18

Our daughter is 2 and we take the path of doing things together as a family as we are baby centered. My husband and I are still able to converse fine with our daughter present. She is a part of the new us so we don't leave her behind. Enough said on that, this doesn't need to be a thread on the negatives of detached parenting....

Could you shift bedtime a little later? We do a later bedtime for two reasons. One it gives my DH quality time with his daughter everyday. If she went to bed at 7 he would get 1 hour of time with her a day. That is not okay for us. Second it gives us a little more leeway in getting to do stuff.

Can you take time to look at your finances and work situation? Do you both have to work? Does she have to work on the weekend? I am a SAHM and it is exhausting if you do it well. I cannot imagine having to work that much and then be a spectacular mom on top of it. I would look at what is really worth it, the money or the time with family. Could you even just cut the day she has on the weekends?

Lastly, it takes a while to adjust to being new parents, but even more so a new mom. Your wife is not the same woman she was. She now has a piece of her heart separate from her body; that is a very hard adjustment to make. Cut her some slack while also being her advocate and help. Look over the signs of ppd to be safe. Then start helping and being the best father you can be.

Oh and look into babywearing. You can get a lot more done with a baby happily riding on your back. They get snuggles and love and you get 2 free hands to get things done faster.


#19

Mkipp: I prayed for you and your wife.

Is it possible that she thinks she has to live up to an unrealistic standard for a wife and mother: perfect hair, flat stomach, perfect make-up, perfect home, perfect baby, vivacious friends and active social life? Is she reading magazines like People, O, National Enquirer? If so, no more. The gossip and movie magazines present an unrealistic view of life. The men are handsome and the women are beautiful-- even after marriage, baby and job. One of the deceptive columns is "See they are just like us" No these singers and actors are not just like us-- they lived lives of financial luxury and plenty of leisure time.


#20

Look, I know I am probably the last one who should be giving advice on this thread but…

Come home tomorrow with some red roses (if she is allegic try another flower) give her a card at the same time that says how much you love her and how attracted you are to her burp up and all in fact knowing that burp up stain is the both of you in the flesh how much more attractive because of that she is to you.

Tonight when you are both zoned out and she is depressed. take her hand, look in her eyes and tell her how much you love her and then hold her if she pulls away tell her how much that hurts you and that you miss just being close. Open those doors. I know completely unman like but come on if marraige is not a little sacrifice here and there what is it? the next day, when you come home, kiss her make her feel like a woman again, sexy, desireable even if she is only wearing the rags that quite frankly turn you off. Love her and make sure she knows it in every word, Irritate her by talking through the show, let her know you find her more inportant than whats going on, on the T.V. Don’t push the sex putton unless she wants. Pick up your baby and sit next to her and kiss both of them, spend some family time with just the two of you ( hint, I know its hard but leave the T.V. on for a moment while you do this) Tickle her and the baby. Do crazy things like making wierd noises and speak through the baby about how much you love her and how you miss her. Keep doing it. She needs to know that you love her stretch marks and not so sexy cloths and all


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