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How Has Your Marriage Changed?
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MontanaMama2009 posted:
I'm a veteran mommy...been doing it for 15 years now.

But I have a few newbie mommy friends who struggle with how their marriage has changed since having their first child.

Just thought it might be interesting to read others' posts about how their marriage/relationship with SO has changed since children.

So, please respond as honestly as you can. I will, too.
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MontanaMama2009 responded:
Huh....First off, I clicked on Post a Tip instead of Post a Discussion. Sorry!

Secondly, I'll answer my own "How Has Your Marriage Changed" question....and honestly.

First child came along after just 1-1/2 years of marriage to DH. And DH and I had only dated for less than 6 months before we were married. So we had a lot of hurdles to jump when first LO arrived because we were still in the honeymoon phase.

I think I appreciated the change that LO brought into my life more than DH. DH is a needy kind of guy...well, he WAS a needy kind of guy back then. He wanted a home-cooked meal, a clean home, and a wife dressed up prettily when he came home from work.

I was happy to comply...for a time. And then, I realized that I couldn't be EVERYTHING that I had been to DH and be a new mommy. So I started to let things slide, mainly how clean I kept the house.

I was exhausted. DH didn't understand why I didn't want to have sex at 11 p.m. or midnight anymore. And when we did have sex, DH didn't understand why my BFing boobies were off limits.

So not only did the way we interact on a day-to-day basis change, but our method of sex changed, as well.

We no longer had as much time to devote to the marriage that we had previously. I couldn't just pick up and head off for the hills like before. Now I was packing around a colicky infant and all the necessary items that belong to an infant on the road: diaper bag full of wipes, diapers, change of clothes, burp rags, etc...so we traveled not-so-lightly anymore.

But more than that, I was too tired to WANT to head off to the hills with DH for a fun-filled day. My day revolved around LO and her naps and MY naps, too, LOL.

So yes, in the beginning, it was a REAL adjustment.

-------------------------------------------

By the time No. 2 dd came around, DH and I were more like best friends with occasional moments of romance. And even the romance wasn't spontaneous but planned out ahead of time and pencilled into our daytimers, LOL.

Still, our sex was never the same as before children. A bit more relaxed and not so fiery...although at times it could be.

________________________________

And then No. 3 came along, and we're still chugging along like best friends with moments of pencilled-in romance. Although DH is more settled in his role as father now and "provider" for his growing family, we still enjoy our excursions to the hills (or the rivers), and we can't possibly pack lightly but now pack for 3 children's needs throughout the day. Which is fine.




So...how has your marriage morphed since having your LOs?
 
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jlcohen78 responded:
DH and I were together for 11 years before I gave birth to our first. And while our focus has shifted, I don't feel that we've 'struggled' with the change. It was just a natural progression.
I worked in public accounting prior to having DS. My hours were ridiculous and the stress was insane. For years we had already had to practice finding time for one another. The stress of having a child was so much less than what we dealt with when I was in public. Well maybe not less stress but it was a different kind of stress. And a welcomed stress!

I think our marriage has improved since having both kids. I've found a new respect for DH especially since DD's seizures. We communicate so much more efficiently now. We don't sweat the small stuff like we did early on into our relationship. I seem to fall more in love with DH every single day as I watch him care for our children.

Don't get me wrong --- it's not always candy and roses. We have our moments. But we know that is just what they are: moments.
 
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MontanaMama2009 replied to jlcohen78's response:
Thanks for posting.
 
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simerlm responded:
Well, I've been married for almost ten years. Next month is our ten year anniversary. Our son is 9. We got preggers on our honeymoon. (whoops!) We had only dated for a little over a year before getting married, but we were friends before that for three years.

After our first was born, it was a serious struggle. He had two hospital stays. The first was for elevated bilirubin, so he had to spend 24 hours under the bili light in the NICU. The second, he had pnemonia and spent a week in the PICU. Our biggest problem was that DH took our son outside without a coat, or hat or anything in 50 degree weather when he was less than a month old. I blamed him for our son getting pnemonia. I was so mad at him that it caused a real rift in our relationship. A doctor told me that the cold didn't make him sick, it just speeded it along a bit. That helped me start to let go, but it took a while. So that was a tremendous strain on our marriage. I felt like I couldn't trust him with our son. Arguments ensued. As our son got better, I was able to let go of my anger. Things got better. We had little time for romantic moments, but I didn't really care.

Number two was a complete surprise. I honestly don't know how she happened. We were using protection. Things didn't change much. But seeing my husband with his daughter, being careful and loving and snuggling her, made me love him a little bit more than I already did. He was more tender with her because she is a girl.

Number three made things hard again. Our feelings about having a preemie were totally different. My heart was in the NICU with her. He didn't understand. She was expected to be just fine, so what was I worrying about? My heart was broken because I couldn't be with her like I wanted. So, we grew apart a little more. Our romantic time had increased as our older children got older and now we were back to not having the time anymore. Now that Aly is older and doesn't require as much care, we have more time for each other again. He is even more tender and loving to our tiny little girl than with each of the other ones. He has learned that even if we don't see eye to eye, he can still support me and just let me cry. He can't fix everything, but just being there is enough. Our marriage is very solid now. We have grown so much in the last ten years. I love him more and more every day.
 
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daisy729 responded:
Sorry, as I was writing this, there are some TRIGGS...

DH and I knew each other for about a year before we started dating. Then, we only really 'dated' for a few months before he proposed. We were married a year later, so we knew it each other for 2 years before we married. We were best of friends when we got married. We had both been previously married, so we both know that being friends first has really made us stronger.

We met at work, he was my supervisor (ooooh!!). We worked at police/fire/ems dispatchers. We have been in crazy stressfull situations, we have been on the radio and heard our friend get shot, we have been on the phone and heard someone getting the life beat out of them, and DH was on the phone with a mom who found her baby unresponsive in her crib. So, honestly, everyday life really doesn't stress us out. I saw, and he still does, the worst times in people's life almost everyday. When you deal with those times in people's life, some people learn to be thankful for everyday. It may not be perfect, but we all still have each other.

I guess our biggest change was that life was not about us anymore, everything was about Dane and his needs. We couldn't just sleep in on Saturday, do the chores whenever we felt like it, go out to eat whenever, decide one weekend we were going up to the mountains, etc. It was now about our little man. It was a big adjustment, going from doing whatever we wanted to now getting up every few hours to change, feed, burp and put Dane back to bed. Before, if I had to pee, I would just go to the bathroom. Now, I was at home alone at night, holding my screaming baby because he had colic, and I had to pee. In the beginning I had a hard time putting him down, even to just pee. I mean, my baby is upset, I have to hold him! DH thought I was a loon. Most of the time he would just shake his head at me. I knew I was a loon, but I didn't know what else to do.

I think for us, we were, and still are, best of friends. And, we know that if we want to keep our family together, we have to have the strongest bond. You know that best friend you have, you will do anything for each other, no questions asked and you never expect anything in return. That is DH and I. We both know that life around us happens, we will get stressed out, we do bicker, we do drive each other crazy sometimes, but at the end of the day, it's all about our little family. And, we would both go to the end of the world for the rest of our days, for our little family.
 
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MontanaMama2009 responded:
Thank you ladies.

That was a personal subject to broach, and your stories should help my friend(s) feel more "normal" with everything they're struggling with in family and marriage.

Thanks again.
 
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jlcohen78 replied to MontanaMama2009's response:
You know I was thinking about this post last night. And I wonder if my answer would have been the same when DS was a baby, lol! Or right after we brough home DD. But I honestly can't remember feeling a struggle. Maybe it's like labor --- you forget all the bad stuff once it's over, lol!
 
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MontanaMama2009 replied to jlcohen78's response:
I was thinking that I could've posted so much more, but just kept to the main topic, LOL.
 
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chrisandjen0717 responded:
My DH and I met on a whitewater rafting trip with our church youth group. It was the summer before my senior year and his junior year of high school. (DH likes to joke about me being a cougar, ) From the start we had really strong chemistry and compatability and I am honored to say that he truly is my very best friend. We were married a little over 3 years after we started dating and will celebrate our 6th anniversary this summer.

Possible TRIGGS?

I would have to say that our marriage is better now than before we had DD. We dealt with infertility for 2.5 years (I have PCOS) before she was conceived. I have never wanted anything in my life like I wanted to be a mother so each month that it didn't happen was devastating. I really struggled with depression, anger and disappointment about the difficulties we were having getting PG. I hated myself and felt like it was my fault that I couldn't give DH a child which naturally put a lot of stress on our marriage. As I'm thinking back on that time to write this I have tears in my eyes as I remember how compassionate and patient my DH was with me. He was my shoulder to cry on when I couldn't bring myself to do anything but sob and he was my strength when I had none left. I know he struggled with his own disappointment but he remained so supportive and optimistic despite me being the complete opposite. When we found out our prayers had been answered and DD was on the way it was like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders and subsequently our marriage. I was able to stop hating myself and feeling unworthy of DH's love and I felt like my "old self" again. It took so much stress off DH too because I know he felt like he was doing something wrong that he couldn't pull me out of my depression himself.

I will never say that life is perfect now...I know better, LOL, but things really are good. I couldn't ask for a better father for my DD and the bond that the two of them have brings so much joy to my heart. I fall in love with DH all over again when I see them snuggled together in the recliner watching Sesame Street or when he "tastes" something she brings him from her little kitchen and he pretends that it is the yummiest thing he has ever tasted.

We definitely do have our rough patches and more than our fair share of arguments. We are both stubborn to a fault and sometimes DD's presence is the only thing that keeps us civil to one another. However, like Jamie said, they are just moments and I know for us that the good outweighs the bad a hundred times over.
 
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MontanaMama2009 replied to chrisandjen0717's response:
Jen,

your story was awesome...as the others are, too.

Thanks for sharing something so personal.

So what I'm reading from everyone's posts -- the basic theme -- is that yes, their marriages have changed since children, but the children seem to be the glue that bonds everyone together.
 
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chrisandjen0717 replied to MontanaMama2009's response:
In a lot of ways I think so too, Kim. I think that having children with someone makes us more willing to work through problems that may have been enough to call it quits when the stakes weren't so high. Knowing that out choices no longer affect just ourselves but our children as well gives us a willingness to work through tougher problems and strengthens our committment to our families as a whole and not just to our children. No matter what kind of fight DH and I are in the middle of or how many four-letter words I want to call him at any given moment I can and will always appreciate the gift we have given each other in our daughter. Sometimes I would like to take credit for her but she is 50% him just like she is 50% me and since I love 100% of her I will always love him too.
 
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jlcohen78 replied to chrisandjen0717's response:
Jen ---- you hit the nail on the head!


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