news item: someone should write about this

Why are you so mean to me lately? Why are you so mad all the time? It must be hard to be so mad all the time. I feel sorry for you that you’re like that.

Um, yeah, that was what my husband said to me last night after I snapped at him for the millionth time about something he didn’t do “right” when it came to something our daughter needed done…something needed done. What I wanted to say was “I’m tired, I don’t feel well, I had a long day at work, and I don’t want to have to re-do what you just did because I know you are capable of doing it right if you just listen to my instructions” — but what came out instead was a petulant “whatever, I am not.”

*cough* Oops.

Honestly, what I’ve been feeling lately is a lack of connection with my husband, and since I haven’t made it a priority to have some “us” time and to talk about issues and reconnect on mental/physical/emotional levels, instead it has reared it’s ugly head as bitchiness. We’ve both been so busy lately between travel, work, and parenting… and sadly the “us” has sort of fallen by the wayside.

Last week, one of our PAIL Blogroll members sent us this link, and it definitely piqued our interest. It’s just a quick blurb, but the premise is this – we do a lot of talking about our relationship with our kids, but not so much talking about our relationship with our significant others. The author of Someone should write about this writes about a lot of feminist topics, and whether or not you consider yourself to be a feminist, there’s a lot of truth to the fact that it’s HARD to nurture your relationship with your significant other in the same way as you did pre-children.

So what do you think? Check out the article above and come back and share your thoughts!

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How is your relationship with your significant other now that there are kids in the mix? 

Has it changed for the better? For worse?

Do you find it hard to talk about?

Do you do anything in particular to focus on your relationship with him/her as much as your relationship with your child(ren)?

*****

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Comments

  1. I LOVE this topic, thank you!

  2. I saw that link and felt the same way. It also caught me when I was irritated w/ my husband and workloads and responsibilities. I do find it hard to talk about. I tend to store up irritations and then explode, which isn’t good. This year has gotten off to a rough start b/c we started the year sick, on call, huge projects. We’re all stressed & I try to keep that in mind.

    • Ya, I’m a big “storer-upper” lately as well, and it’s not good for either of us. *sigh*

      • I blow up quickly and then feel relieved it is over but don’t always acknowledge that my blow up can cause hurt to. I might feel better but the person I have blown up feels like shit. Think I need a more happy medium…..

  3. It’s funny. I had a weird reaction to something I saw in a Mom’s Group Facebook page. This woman was talking about how since she was allowed (financially, I assume she means) to stay home, when her husband came home he shouldn’t have to do anything around the house, since “he worked.” Now, I realize that this link is talking about relationships in the emotional way… but for me, the thing that allows me to relax and connect with my husband is the chores being all done. For me, that is the key to it all. That one comment set me off… as if my husband shouldn’t have to contribute to the runnings of the house, just because he worked out of the house. My job never stops, why should his?

    This relates because the time that I can connect with him is when I’m not worried about ALL THE THINGS. My relationship with Jon has gotten better in most parts, and more strained in others (thankfully, those other parts are way tiny.) We’ve learned to communicate directly (which sometimes ends up in harshness) and forgive more easily (which counteracts the harshness.)

    • Agreed – when we get home from work, somehow I’m the one cooking and cleaning and doing laundry and and and… and i’ve set myself up for it. I (thankfully) know that I have a husband who would help more if I asked him to (well, sometimes) – I just get tired of having to ASK for help so that ALL THE THINGS are done. He should just KNOW to pitch in, right? 🙂 Somehow women just seem to “get it” – that it’s easier to sit and relax and talk if the dishes are done and the room is picked up, and that it’s a never ending job really…

      • I agree completely. I remember the other day after having a particularly bad night and a grumpy baby all day that was not sleeping he was all so what’s for dinner. Seriously, I don’t care why don’t you just say to me you’ve had a rough day so why don’t I make YOU dinner.

  4. Oh man, this is us. I mean – this describes us to a T.

    Things changed for us during our IF days. All I thought about was IF and getting pregnant. B was neglected completely. We got some of the good stuff back once pregnant, but then I was obsessed with baby stuff. Then parenting stuff. Then Baby #2. Etc. I just wrote yesterday about my passion being IF, and I will say that it IS a very real problem for our marriage.

    With that said, things are getting better. Because I am seeing a therapist about all of these things (and other things, like B’s lack of remorse, interest in things that don’t interest him, etc) and B is listening to the things that I’m learning in counseling. We are better for it, even with him not going. He asks what I learned and is very open to the things that are coming to the surface. It’s been WONDERFUL! We were seriously struggling.

    It’s hard to talk about on my blog because B reads my blog. Plain and simple. I would put it out there for everyone to see, but I don’t want him seeing my thoughts on HIM. I do share stuff with IRL/URL friends via conversations, but never on twitter. Twitter is not the place for me to vent about B! Some things are sacred!

    Now that I’m seeing the counselor, there are things I’m doing to focus on B, and he’s noticing those things. He’s doing things to focus on me. We’re all better for it.

    But we’re far from “Fixed.” HA!

    • I like this… the purposeful focusing on things for each other. We need to start doing this more. Stat.

      Also, agreed on blogging – that’s part of the reason I’ve stepped back a bit lately. SOMETHING had to give, and I adore my IF ladies so much that it’s hard to not check in constantly, but my marriage and my health (i.e. lack of workouts) have suffered lately b/c of my focus on parenting and blogging, so it was time to rework the balance.

      Charlie knows about my blog, but he doesn’t read it, and I’m grateful for that. I try not to VENT on my blog, but sometimes I just need help working through something I’m feeling, and it’s nice to have a safe space to talk about it (though I would never write something that I wasn’t okay with him reading if he DID come across it someday).

    • I do completely get the obsessive thing. It was why over xmas and new years I needed some time out. Otherwise it becomes consuming. However for most of you ladies I have been following everyone’s journey for a really long time. Opting out now seems wrong somehow. I am so glad the counselling is working for you.

  5. In the comments to the article, someone talks about how usually in a relationship you can take turns leaning on each other because you alternate crises, and that parenting, especially brand new parenting, possibly doubly so when becoming parents was difficult, puts you both through a crisis at the same time so your usual coping skills fail. That’s what I would say was the case early in our journey as parents. It took us a couple of years to get back to something like the equal-ish balance we had before the kid was born and it’s still a struggle. Really, I’ll have to write a really long response to this on my very own blog (after the next exam, clearly). Balance is really hard and letting go of the idea that I know best what should happen with the kid is hard, but it gets easier with time.

    • I had never thought about the whole “going through the crisis together” part – it makes sense that it’s hard for either of us to be the strong one when we’re both going through a major life change together. Good food for thought…

  6. OH this is post worthy….Too long to make a comment here…definitely going to be writing on this….Oh and traveling with a 14 month old or 13.9month old as it were it HARD on a couple, especially where there is a break down….hoping things calm down for you and C and you can get some time to reconnect!

  7. I started to comment and then just decided to write a post about this:
    http://conceptionmisconceptions.blogspot.com/2013/02/effects-of-children-on-relationship.html

  8. Oh this really hits a nerve. We have been struggling as well. Things are strained – we are working on it but his way of working on it is different than mine (his = sex and for me I need to connect on other levels than JUST that way). We argue about the dumbest things. I know that most of it is the: I am tired, I don’t feel well and I’m stretched thin with working from home and having baby home with me – trying to do it all is exhausting. He does try to help out – in fact a few weeks ago he mentioned that he wanted to help more (hallelujah!) and asked for a couple things he could do to help out – knowing my husband (and I don’t mean this in a derogatory way at all) I asked for two small, but really helpful things; empty the dishwasher and pick up the toys left out at night so that I can vacuum in the mornings (I do this every morning since we have dogs). He has mostly been doing this and it is a big help. And I am rambling….
    Basically it comes down to this: things have changed and not really for the better. My parents have offered to babysit some weekends so that we can go do stuff with just the two of us, this seems to help us to focus on us more. BUT, we don’t really talk about any of the underlying issues, so really it is just a band-aid.
    Definitely something we both need to work on – and we need to make it a priority!

  9. I can definitely relate to this– M and I have been working to figure out some of our miscommunications lately. A big part of the dynamic for us is that he has ADHD and I don’t, so I don’t always “get” how his mind works, but he doesn’t really get it either and can’t explain it to me. It causes a lot of misinterpretations of what the other says and means because we both get frustrated quickly now that it’s a “thing” for us.

    The best thing I’ve learned recently (we’re both reading an ADHD & marriage book) is that “perception is reality.” It doesn’t matter how I meant it if he heard it as an insult or exasperation (and I say this because a big part of the problem is how I handle what I perceive to be “his” mistakes), if he feels bad, it counts. Likewise, even if he doesn’t MEAN to do something that causes more work for me, it still counts when I get frustrated and feel overburdened. It’s so easy to lose track of validating the other’s experiences when we personally get frustrated, so it’s something we’re working on.

    You know, in the middle of these arguments it’s easy to feel like everyone else has it figured out better than we do, so it’s nice (well, maybe that’s not the right word!) to know that other people are also working through these sorts of conversations. It will also make M feel better to know that a big part of this is the “male/female” dynamic and not just “you have ADHD and that throws a wrench into our communication” because it’s not his fault.

  10. This is a really interesting topic that I am going to give some more thought and comment (or even post) on. But I did just want to say that it is nice to hear/read/realize that it isn’t just me going through these sort of things. I was actually just thinking yesterday (right after an argument with DH) about how you ladies all seem to have such happy, perfect, wonderful, never fighting, relationships. I know, silly me!! Of course I knew that couldn’t be the case for everyone all the time but I was just feeling that way at the time, so it is definitely nice to feel like everyone can relate. Will comment or post more on this soon!

    • Ha. Definitely not perfect over here! I actually stressed a little about sharing that opening sentence to this post, even though i KNOW i’m not alone in my marital discord.

  11. Here’s my first response to the whole issue of co-parenting and how much of a struggle it is: http://mompharmd.blogspot.com/2013/02/balancing-parenting.html

  12. I just came across this from Twitter. Oddly enough about an hour ago there was a Dad group talking about the same thing. Keeping the connection with all the other things that fight for our attention as parents.
    I mentioned there as I will here, it is the small gestures that we forget to do. Something as simple as offering to get something for the other one, a snack or a drink, maybe a pillow.
    It is so easy to let the parenting part overwhelm you. And my wife and I have had our share of struggles over the years. But we try to do the best we can for the kids and each other. I don’t think you can look at it as work, keeping the connection, it does require mutual effort.
    Anyway, that is my two cents worth. All the best to all of you.

    • The “simple things” were lacking for us, and we’ve both made an effort to bring those things back. B was missing the simple strokes across his back as I’d walk by – simple enough. I was missing him simply asking about my day beyond what Matthew did (I stay home with him). Easy enough to do. We both do sometimes have to think about it, and the efforts can seem a little “forced” or “just remembered,” but they still go a long way.

      So nice to see a husband’s perspective!

    • It’s nice to know that Dad groups are talking about this as well. 🙂 It seems the consensus is that we all appreciate the little things the most… and it also seems to be the first thing we forget to do! Thanks for the chime-in!

  13. I am so glad you posted this. Am going to write tonight about it once Molly goes to bed!

  14. Yes, definitely an impact on us. I am not sure I could call it better or worse- especially as compared to our 6+ years of IF struggles..,but it is different. I do agree with some comments I read that sex has taken a big hit (especially after IF) and I do think it’s a missed opportunity to connect…yet I find it difficult timing wise. (I am asleep when he’s in the mood, etc…) great topic.

  15. SO can relate. We had a discussion about the same issues last week (well, except to start the discussion I had to write out how I was feeling, you know, because I feel he doesn’t LISTEN or GET IT). I felt better after we talked because I guess my expectations changed- I realized there wasn’t going to be a quick, simple solution but that it was going to be a work in progress. Now we are both aware of the issues and have committed to working on it. That gave me peace, feeling like it is going to get better.
    I looked at my own behaviour and realized that the small things I used to do for him just don’t come naturally to me anymore. I don’t know if it is because I am too busy with parenting stuff or if it is the subconscious resentment that I just don’t bother anymore. Hmmm, gotta work on that. And being clear in my expectations so there less fuel to that resentment for things left undone, or done ‘wrong’.
    This post was such a helpful reminder that this struggle is NORMAL, and just another thing (like less bladder/bowel control those first couple weeks after childbirth) that no one really talks about or prepares you for. Thank you for sharing!

  16. I posted about this. http://wp.me/p2w6mF-pE

Trackbacks

  1. […] just posted a news item over at PAIL about a conversation between my husband and I last night, and I tell ya, it isn’t pretty. […]

  2. […] About a week ago I was reading one of my favourite non infertile bloggers and she had a small post on what we should really be talking about. I mean we all talk about our relationships with our babies, what our babies are doing, how much we love them but sometimes we neglect to talk about our other very significant relationship – the one we have with our partners and the shift in our relationships when the baby arrives. I immediately thought of all of the other PAIL bloggers and sent it off to the team and was thrilled when they decided to feature it as a news item. […]

  3. […] PAIL’s news article this week is “Someone should write about this.” […]

  4. […] I first read PAIL’s news item this week, I took it to heart. I looked at my relationship with my husband and how it […]

  5. […] had lots of people link-up their own posts. Check out the article and the great discussion we had here and see below for all the great links to posts that were written in response to this. Also we had […]

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