Love changes with partner when baby comes along?

Katherine - posted on 11/13/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My little girl was born at the end of Jan 2009, but things aren't the same the same husband any more since she was born. Its as if we don't communicate any more. We don't kiss or cuddle much and sex well that doesn't happen any more. He was made redundant when she was about 2 months old. We knew that it was coming. But he still left all the feeding and house work up to me. Now he's in work he thinks that he should have a lie in at the weekends as he's up early during the week. I have to ask him if he wants to play with his daughter. He won't even feed her at weekends. This Saturday i'm working all day. But I have to give him instructions on nap times and what time she feeds etc. and have get things out for him and his mother is coming up to help him out. I feel that the love for my husband has changed to just being friends the spark has. Not sure what to do next?

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Tonia - posted on 11/13/2009

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My husband started to try and fall into this pattern too. I tried bringing it up and address it straight to him. Well he said, he'd help more but i just did not step up to the plate on his own even than. As you said I would have to bring it up to him and than it was more like me nagging. So than I just started not even asking...
What I did was....
Just did not give him out. I also did NOT directly bring it up to him or ask him for help. If I wanted help feeding I would get the stuff out (everything baby needs) and than just tell him I was going to shower, run an errand, going to the bathroom. If baby woke up and I was up non-stop I simply pretended to stay sleeping forcing my hubbs to get up.
If she needed a diaper change I would suddenly just have to go to the bathroom myself! Even if I really did not have to go to the bathroom I would just go sit there with a magazine. If he was headed out the door just to go to town for something I would just pack up baby, coat car seat everything while he got ready and than hand baby to him. Sure he looked stunned but there wasn't too much he could say while I had her already he had no excuses to get out of it. Reverse pshychology does work! So stop nagging. Just don't even bring it up. Just do not give him a way out. I did not do this all the time just once a day to start you one of the tasks that we have to do they don't think twice about. The thing is that it is not just important for him to spend that time with her now it is important for him to spend that care giving time so he can build a bond with her for their futures. Good relationships do not just happen it takes work. Butter him up while you do it too. Say to your daughter "Ok sweety, mommy has to take a bath, and get ready. You to the most wonderful daddy in the whole world, Oooo look at daddy, we love daddy don't we, what a good daddy!" Than just hand baby to him and take off!
Like I said I am not suggesting you abandon your responsibilites just enough to put him in the role! The key is for you to not lead on to him you have it calculated. If he is a good dad her will step up if you give him no out! I am guessing you may be scared to leave him with the responsibilities since you have never seen him in that role just do it if you make yourself scarce he will step up if he is worth a D*** remember she is his daughter too. He most likely does love her too, he has just had you there so he does not feel the urge to step up.

In my case I still have to set the home work out and be suddenly busy! Or set clothes, jackets, hats and goves out for school and not wake up. It may sound sneaky, but it works! I do not just do it for myself I do it for his relationship with his kids.

Please talk him up. It is easy to feel and act resentful when you feel no relief or 50/50 but boosting their egos has a lot to do with their actions. Boost him up as a husband, boost him up as a dad, boost him up as a lover... I know this is hard when it does not feel like that, but trust me it does work.

Another thing in my case I still have to be the one to get all the supplies set-up, out, packed etc... It works for me though I use it to my advantage if I set it all up right there for him with no way out than it makes it easier for me. He will never completely step up to the plate and know all you know this really will help if he is a good dad he'll step up! One more major example... I have three kids and my hubbs. Well we always have outings. It was getting to the point where I felt no relief and could not even get ready. We'd leave to go some where and everyone would look nice except me. That was when I had enough... i started laying out EVERYTHING, each childs clothes, diaper bag, socks, shoes, jackets, everything, and finally all his stuff... I would tell my hubbs to get ready than once he was done I would lead him to all the kids stuff. He than would get them ready in the mean time I had time to get myself ready! Yes it is annoying to even have to do that, when he is capable but in my case he is our bread winner and does a lot of other things around our home so I think he is contributing half.

I felt at one point how you do about sex too. The 2 go hand in hand. Like I said butter him up, the more and more you do and the more you make him contribute the better you feel about him. And the two of you are more likely to click.

Anyways I got all this from my mommy, I happy to like many old wives tales there is something to being wiser with age!

If none of this works than I just don't know! He is dink than!

Jackie - posted on 11/13/2009

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You need to put your foot down and explain that this is a partnership. That if he doesn't start stepping up and being the father you know he can be. You can't step up and be the wife you should be. You can't play all the roles in your family and expect to have anything left over at the end of the day. You need to explain to him that you understand he works but you are emotionally, physically and mentally drained because you are doing it all. There is no such thing as a super mom despite popular belief! Ask him if he is enjoying being your roommate. Because from your description thats what he is. Explain to him that it is better to be alone then to be lonely with someone. And its hard to connect with someone who doesn't have the same goals as you. The worse advice I ever got was from my mother inlaw who told me to raise my daughter and run my house as if I am a single mom. When she said that I realized that was what I had been doing and since she had MANY failed marriages/common inlaw that it wasn't what I wanted to do. Sure its taken many years to get him helping the way he should and there is still things we have to work on. But for many years I allowed him to do what he wanted when he wanted like he was a single man and i ran my house as if I was a single mother. So i couldn't expect a fix over night! You have to communicate with him and don't sugar coat anything. Of course don't over react or he will just think you are nagging. Just make it clear how you are feeling, what you need him to do and how it will change things for you. Also explain to him you can't be his mother and his lover. I think alot of times men have a hard time sorting out the difference between a mother and a wife. Yes most of our mothers were stay at home moms so we do remember more about them and what they did for us and for the house then we do our dads. It doesn't mean dad did nothing.... it just means we didn't see it nearly as often as we did our moms. If you don't set expectations and clearly explain to him what they are.. you can't ever expect him to live up to him.



Remember sparks come and go with good times and hard times. Don't give up and stay open with your heart and your communication.

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Lisa - posted on 11/13/2009

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To Corey and Katherine, both your situations sound like my relationship with my husband who is now my ex husband. There isn't enough room to go into all his faults but sadly I know where you are coming from. I tried just adding sex to the list of my chores in the hope that without emotion I could just put out and fix the problem but yeah I couldn't do that for too long. He just did'n't get me and I didn't get him. I have never admitted this to him but I knew that it wouldn't work out for us but I had one child already and didn't want to have another one to another man, so I had 2 more kids with him. Of course I would never regret them but when the youngest was born we started having counselling for a year and at the end of that year, I couldn't go on so we seperated. I had dreamed of it but not planned it, then one day on Christmas Day I could take no more and just said I wanted 'out'. Life was soooooooooooooo much better without his ass either working, being in a bad mood, sleeping or playing video games. Funnily enough a couple of years later I met another man and had another baby with him 10 years after my youngest daughter was born, so you can never tell - but I know this. Life is too short to live miserably. Speak up for yourself and your kids. I hope you work out it what is best for yourself and your kids

Life is a stack better and my new hubby understands when I am too tired for loving. he says the baby should come first, which is called 'understanding', he helps out and has taken an active role with him in terms of feeding, playing, dressing, and the whole bit. and my girls have grown up well in a loving environment where their mum is happy as well

Michelle - posted on 11/13/2009

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I definitely think it takes more effort to keep the "spark" alive once you have a baby. I would suggest trying to plan a "date night" maybe once a week or once every 2 weeks. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive...tonight our date night will be staying in and making homemade pizza and then watching a movie after our 19 month old son goes to bed. Other weeks my parents babysit and we go out to eat. I think it's SO important to set aside time for just the 2 of you.

Also, a book that helped us when we were first married is called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Basically, it talks about how everyone has their own unique ways that make them feel loved. Try to discover what makes your husband feel loved and make an extra effort to do those things. For example, mine is physical touch (cuddling, back massages, etc.), while my husband's is acts of service (packing his lunch, keeping the house clean, etc.) Think about how you feel loved and try to express that to your husband too.

My husband and I are both Christians, so praying for one another and with one another is what helps us the most. I also have a book called The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian, and it is REALLY helpful! It gives specific areas that our husbands need prayer for and then gives Scriptures to go along with it.

I pray that the spark will be fanned into a new flame in your marriage! Hang in there!

Angela - posted on 11/13/2009

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I totally agree with Beth, and I do not feel that anyone who feels that their children should come before their spouse has any right to complain about problems in their relationship with their spouse. If you cannot put him first, why would you expect him to put you first? Maybe he feels you should do things differently too, and he is just as much the parent as you are. Just remember this- all children benefit from seeing that mommy and daddy love each other. If you truly want to be a team, you have to care about his needs too. Ask yourself- How does he feel? How am I making him feel? What can I do to show him I am still in love with him? If your daughter sees that you love her daddy, she will love her daddy. If he sees that you both love him, he will be filled for love for both of you. Then everyone is in love :)

Kimberly - posted on 11/13/2009

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You aren't alone! One of the gifts I received when baby was born was a book called "Baby Proofing Your Marriage". It is awesome. It talks from mom's point of view most often but was a real eye opener. It is an easy read and pretty funny too. I know my hubby felt like he had dropped down on the totem pole in a HUGE way, and sex is hard because you are tired, and the purpose of your body has changed. Also men don't really know what to do with the babies, until they are a little older and are running around. Be patient, try and talk as much as possible and remember that he does have to get up all week and worry about the cash flow. Its a big burden in itself! Also remember your husband was there first. The baby will take up TONS of time, but make the best of the other time you have together. Go cuddle on the couch while the little one is napping or rub his back while he holds the baby. Sometimes the best trigger for what you would like to see from him is showing him yourself. I know we as mom's are extremely worn out at times, but dads get it day and night too. Try the book! It was great! And good luck!

April - posted on 11/13/2009

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This breaks my heart. From the day we brought our daughter home, my husband and I became closer than ever and he stepped up to become a wonderful stay-at-home dad. I'm not sure what's different about your situation that would have brought such a different result.

Tonia - posted on 11/13/2009

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One more thing to add to my comment above...

I do still agree with all these other women too, you should have a sit down talk with him. Specifically address the issues BUT once you have addressed it than don't hound him please try my suggestion. It has made my relationship so much better and his with the kids too. He now steps up to the plate on his own with many things and is a great dad! I agree with Jackie chin up... sparks come and go!

Sharalyn - posted on 11/13/2009

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Don't feel ashamed if you need to go to a marriage counselor after you had your baby. My husband sound the same way. He does take care of her, feeds her, etc. without my instructions however I too feel the 'spark' is gone a few times out of the week. I am going in for surgery next week and God forbid anything happens while I am recovering. Try to talk it out if he refuses counseling, men usually have an ego. Communication is key in any relationship. I really don't know what else to say. Hope this helps.

Amanda - posted on 11/13/2009

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It is so hard to be a mom sometimes especially with no help. My husband was not a huge help with our 1st either. I let him know right fast how I felt and what he should be doing. He barely ever changed diapers, never bathed her til now. He fed some but he wanted to sleep all weekend too. The transition to parenthood for men seems more difficult than women, and maybe he really didn't want this or wasn't ready. I have found many people do not communicate well in relationships. Without screaming or a single cross word tell him you need to talk! Sit him down and pour out your heart about how you feel, how you NEED help, and how he can help, talk about how you feel about him not spending time with her. You never know his mom can be an allie. Things have been better this time around relationship wise and sexually, but I think men are afraid after babies. They are told no no for so many weeks plus they have seen their favorite play thingy expand to unimaginable size. Many men are afraid of hurting their wives and such-- again talk about it! You must voice your concerns and talk them out to get anywhere, otherwise you'll do like I did go until you can take no more and just blow up and perhaps end up leaving.

Heidi - posted on 11/13/2009

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Having child can change things, if you let it. You have to be sure that you and your husband find some time just for yourselves without your daughter. With my husband we make sure we have a couple of date nights a month. This certainly helps. Although a child needs to have more attention then an adult, you can not neglect your husband either. So be sure to set aside some time each night for just the 2 of you. Of course wait till baby is bed, but I think you both need to talk about whats going. Sure your husband works, but then again so do you(raising the baby is a lot of work). Some men don't see that raising a child isn't work, but it is and its certainly the hardest job ever, and the pay sucks, but the rewards are far better then any pay check. So talk to your husband let him know how you are feeling and hopefully he will open up to you as well. Dont let this fester because if you don't talk it will only get worse.

Chrystal - posted on 11/13/2009

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I agree with Beth to a point. However i have not been in your shoes I have been doing it alone with 3 kids 15 13 and 3. Have you told him you feel that he and you have lost that spark? that it feels like you have gone backwards in your relationship and how you are feeling? This might Sound Silly but this is what i did with the "jealousy" issue with me kids as the next one came along. I would set a "date night" where we would go to the movies or out to eat. Or maybe just go bowling. or just go for a walk where he will have all your undivided attention all to his self. that might work. Try it. Hope it works

Melissa - posted on 11/13/2009

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u know i think that all relationships get their major test after children are born and you start a family, some win, some lose. im gettting the 'old fasioned way' kind of vibe from your husband from what u have posted. im one of the lucky ones, mine is a very involved father. but as for the cuddleing, kissing, sex...well i think that comes with the territory of parenting, but u need to feel special sometimes too right? have u talked to him? tried to initiate a night of love'n urself? men are strange, as if they were alwasy #1 in our lives untill baby comes, then our focus switchs off them, like with lightening speed, and its all about baby. sounds like ur doing enough as it is, but try giving him a lil extra TLC, and talk to him about what you like to see and kind of praise him when u see it. maybe if he sees how happy it makes u and the positive attention it gets him, he will be more inclined to get down and play with the lil rug rat! good luck, keep ur chin up!

Mabel - posted on 11/13/2009

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I think it's always like that for most marriages but you really have a lot to do at this time. It's not that he loves you less but i dont know, he just cant adjust. It's now time for you to create more time for him, communicate with him the more, remind him of old times and i believe things will get better with time. So please dont give up cos once you do that, you are creating more room for things to happen. God will help us.

Lisa - posted on 11/13/2009

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i agree with beth apart from the part were she said u need to show him that u love him more then the baby i think thats wrong i believe my son will always come first before my partner simple as!

My partner was the exact same he never changed nappy's, never fed him, never dressed him or bathed him ect and to be honest i dont beleive that it's because they feel threatened by the baby i suppose they feel threatened it some ways but i believe it more to do with the responsibility of a baby, my partner didn't start bonding with my child till he started walking but he still doesn't feed him or anything like that he will only play with him and make him laugh something that doesn't take much responsibility unfortunatly most men are like this they only like the fun bit's. You may feel like the spark has gone in ur relationship i felt the exact same way for months but hang in there it will get better u just need to work at it, get a babysitter once a week and go out together go see a film or just go for a nice meal, you both need time to spend as a couple aswel as a family. good luck hun

Sarah - posted on 11/13/2009

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Some men are scared of small babies. He needs to spend time alone with her, so he can build his confidence as well as realise how much hard work it actually is. Just because he goes out to work, doesn't mean that he's the only one who needs rest and time to himself at the weekend. Maybe take it in turns to have a lie in while the other one gets up with the baby.

Corey - posted on 11/13/2009

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I am so glad to read that I am not alone. I too had a baby girl born in January, 2009. Things have drastically changed with my husband and I since then. We got married Feb 2008 and I found out I was pregnant in May 2008, so our first summer as a married couple didn't go so well because I was sick all the time and didn't feel like doing anything. And he just didn't understand. Then once Emma came into our lives, he helped out at the very beginning and once he returned to work in April (he got laid off for the winter months), he thought that he didn't need to help out at all. I have a full time job that I am returning to in January (2 months) and I am so nervous and worried about how things will be once I return to work. I care for Emma on my own all the time. And he gets home from work at 6 in the evening and only has 1-1 1/2 hours to play with his daughter before she goes to bed and he doesn't even want to do that. He says that he needs to "kick back" on the couch after a hard day at work. Well he doesn't understand that I had a hard day caring for our teething daughter that is up half the night. He thinks when I go grocery shopping or to the store to buy diapers, etc..that I am out having fun. Well grocery shopping isn't fun to me and I still have to bring my baby with me so it takes twice as long. The sex has changed completly. We used to have a good sex life before I had Emma. But my hormones have changed or something because I do not want it anymore. And not only that, but half the time I resent him for something he said or did, so sometimes I just don't want it with him. He also became emotionally abusive towards me since having Emma. I read a lot of literature on this and it is common that men become emotionally abusive once their wifes are pregant, but totally not acceptable. I could never be a stay at home mom because he thinks they are just useless. I am struggling with what to do also. I think I know what I need to do, but don't have the desire or motivation to start the process. Weekends are spent arguing over what we are going to do with the day because he only gets sundays off and he wants to spend them how he wants to spend them, and sometimes I want to spend them as a family. He also likes to come home in the evenings after a hard day at work and drink beers. I don't mind him drinking a couple, but when it is taking away from the time he could be spending with Emma, it bothers me. It's at the point where I don't think I would ever have another child with him, which is unfortunate because I want another child someday. I think you know what you have to do or you wouldn't have wrote your comment. Have you tried going to couples counselling? Or have you and him gotten away for a weekend without the baby, to a nice hotel or something to try to rekindle the spark. I believe it trying in a marriage, especially when there are children involved, but I have learned the hard way, that sometimes doing the right thing in a marriage, is ending it. I think I have realized that, I just need to act upon it, which will be the tough part. I think if you've tried talking to him, tried counselling, tried buying a porno movie or something to rekindle the spark and it still doesn't feel right, then you know what you have to do. I feel your pain and am so sorry for what you are going through. But if it helps at all, I know exactly what you are going through and it sucks!! Maybe if you two separate for a while, he will realize what he's missing out on with you and his daugther and things will work out in the end. I am a believer that what is meant to be, will be. And you got a beautiful baby girl out of it so it happened for a reason. The best of luck to your family. Lean on friends and family if you need to. I know it is tough to admit to your loved ones that things aren't going well in your marriage, but you also need support from people that love you. That is why this circle of moms is nice, but it isn't the same as a friend hugging you and being there for you. Please give me an update on how things are working out etc.

Sharon - posted on 11/13/2009

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my husband was 24yrs old when we had our son, i do not think you should show him that you love him more than you little girl, best advise i could give you is let him interact with your daughter at his own pace, you dont want to seem pushy but at the same time he should be feed and changing nappies, you have to watch because your daughter would have picked up on this and might feel that there is no love from daddy. i would sit down and have a chat and go through everythin thats on your mind when your daughter is in her bed, and explain that he is making you feel no love for you and your daughter, then he should really step up and be a all hands on dad and husband.

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Hi, I think the best thind that u and your husband should do is talk to each other. Try and ask him if he ok if there is any worries/problems. He needs to know how your feeling too. let him know u need some you time and that he needs time with his daughter and that she needs him just as much as u. As for the sex again try and talk about it, make some time for each other and c what happens. It sound like my partner and I when our children were born. As for u doing everything and having to tell your husband how to do things I think its a man thing. Plus they are not used to doing the looking after if they r at work.

I do hope thing get better for u and your husband, Try and make some time to talk without your baby around and hopefully u will get some answers. x

Beth - posted on 11/13/2009

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Your husband probably feels like your daughter has become more important to than him and he needs to know that you value and trust him. No man likes babies, they really don't start to interact with children until they can walk. YOu should let him parent in his own way and not worry if he does it the way you do or would. Better for him to build a relationship with his daughter in his own way than to feel demasculized by his wife for doing it the"wrong" way. You can fix all of this by letting him do things with her at his own pace and not tell him what is right or wrong, and then put some effort back into him; remind him of how much you need him by doing things without a pout. He will see that you love him more than your baby and you will see him get more involved with the two of you. He probably won't ever change a diaper or feed her if you are around because he is a man and most leave that for the woman, we were the ones that wanted to have something to care for; he probaly just wants to show her that he is big and strong and will protect her in this world.

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