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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
Relive the cuddling marriage
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An_246018 posted:
My wife loves to breast feed our daughter. This bond is a little too much for me but I don't say anything about because after all she primarily takes care of our child and I know there is benefit. However, our daughter never likes be alone so my wife allows our 3 yr old to sleep in our bed. We can never have sex because of this. A second problem is that by the time my daughter goes to bed it is almost eleven o'clock so I can never do anything besides go to sleep. It is getting really a nuking having my daughter in bed with us and not living as husband and wife. We are living as bed mates or roommates but I'm waiting to get back my "wife." I'm not looking for tips to change my wife or the way she takes care of our children. I'm looking for empathy and support. I'm looking for an understanding that I don't understand as of now so that if I understand my wife better I might be able to connect with her. I might be able to relate to her and through a genuine understanding she will see what I really want without saying it and want to recreate something that she will want to do for both of us.
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fcl responded:
The first thing you have to do is take this outside of the bedroom.

The second is to stop think that you can do anything about the situation without talking about it ("she will see what I really want without saying it ") - not going to happen (don't hesitate to correct me if I have misunderstood ). It is absolutely primordial that you communicate about this - communication is one of the cornerstones to a good relationship.

It seems to me that your main issue is with the 3yo in the bed with you. So you need to say so. Do it (as said above) outside of the bedroom. Choose a moment when you and your wife are alone and unlikely to be interrupted. Tell her that you miss her, that you miss having her all to yourself. Tell her that you understand that your children need her but so do you. She is now a wife and mother but that doesn't mean she has to stop being a lover. Offer to take care of the children for an hour when you get home in the evening (I'm assuming your wife is a SAHM?) so that she can have some "me time" (trust me, this works wonders - I speak from experience - all time spent like this will be rewarded a hundred times over ). The other added advantage is that you get to spend quality time with your children and in the years ahead you will be glad you did.

When did you last have a date night? You are going to need to plan for one regularly. It takes time and patience to fuel the romance in your couple and you can't do it if you don't have time to (or won't make the time to). Find yourself a sitter. Do you have any family nearby? Good trusted friends? You need to get out for the evening and away from all the every day stuff.

Did I understand that your 3yo goes to bed at 11pm? If so, it's time to point out that this is very late for a child and that you're not doing her a favour (imagine how difficult things will be when she gets to school?). It's time to get her on a more suitable schedule (bed at 8pm or earlier) and it would be a good idea to get her to start using her own bed. It will get harder and harder to get her out of your bed as she gets older. Tell your daughter it's time she was a big girl so she can set an example to her baby sister. Then you work on a routine (together) for getting her to sleep in her room - bath, story, etc.

Well, this turned out to be much longer than I intended - I sure hope that some of it will be of help to you. I truly understand that you want things to change but that you don't want to upset the applecart either. Not an easy situation. However, it comes down to two things:

  • communication
  • preservation of your couple.

I wish you all the best in this.
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
 
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queston responded:
Even if your wife is adamant about the family bed concept, it still might help a great deal to get your daughter to bed (in your bed, if that's the way you decide to go) earlier. As FCL said, she's going to have to adjust to a more conventional kid schedule (bed earlier, rise earlier) at some point fairly soon when she goes to school, preschool, whatever, anyway.

This way, you and your wife could have some daily alone time, even if it's not in your bed.

This is a really big deal. I thought one of the toughest times as parents was when the kids become teenagers and stay up as late as (or later than) the parents. It's not just that sex is more difficult--it's a broader issue of having that intimate time together, even if you're just collapsing on the couch together while watching TV.
 
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An_240414 replied to fcl's response:
As I understood- she is breast feeding their 3 year old --- and that is also the child who she will not be away from....which is why the bond is too much.

OP -- I think you need to address these issues as well. Understanding your wife doesn't make it okay for your 3 year old to stay up that late. to each his own but I don't think its healthy for her and obviously it is affecting you as well.
 
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Gr8me replied to fcl's response:
Gr8 response. I really like what you wrote about telling her that I miss her and I miss having her for our self. I also like what you wrote about making sure to get her "me time." I do have date night once a week. The hardest part is going to be setting up a routine for our 3yo to sleep in her own room. But, so true is that it'll only get harder. Thanks for your bright input.
 
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An_246018 replied to An_240414's response:
Exactly my concern, An_240414!!
 
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An_246018 replied to queston's response:
Very true queston. But to easy to say. I can change it but it is really up to her and I can't get her to change it. My wife has to want to do it.
 
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queston replied to An_246018's response:
Yes. I'm am well aware of this principle through first-hand experience: long-term, you really can't get your spouse to make a change unless they want to make that change.

I think what you can do is make sure she understands how important this is to you. I think (from my male perspective) that it's not all that unusual for this type of imbalance to occur in mothers of very young children: the "mommy" part of their personality becomes so dominant that it literally obliterates the other parts. But it can be very damaging to a marriage.

I think what you can do is tell her very clearly what is happening form your perspective and why it is so important to you. The intimacy is being killed in your marriage. (And sex is a part of intimacy, but just a part.) And if something is not done about it, it will be extremely (and possibly irreversibly) damaging to your relationship.

I always figured there is about a year, after the birth of a child (we have three), where all hell breaks loose, so to speak, and pretty-much everything else is on the back burner. But three years is much too long, in my opinion.
 
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butterfly19790424 replied to Gr8me's response:
"The hardest part is going to be setting up a routine for our 3yo to sleep in her own room. But, so true is that it'll only get harder. Thanks for your bright input."

It really isn't that hard. I used to let my daugher sleep with me. Being a single mom, I gave in and let her sleep in my bed instead of fighting her to stay in her room. She also had an 11pm (or later bedtime). It was exhausting to me. I never got that much needed break.

It took about a week for her to get on a bedtime schedule and to sleep in her room. She now goes to bed around 7:45-8:00pm. I use those extra 2 hrs to unwind, spend time alone or with the boyfriend.
A true friend is someone who knows you're
a good egg even if you're a little cracked


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