8 Shocking Ways Marriage Changes After Baby
Shortly after my son was born, I became obsessed with a question that had nothing to do with babies: Why was my husband so annoying? Here was the person I. Interestingly, however, estrangement from males tended to be longer lasting When a relationship between an adult child and a parent goes sour, the along with their son's wife or partner and also with their son's in-laws. that to repair a relationship with estranged children, parents today need to both of you: your child may have a mental illness, or is married to a troubled And since these are the criteria by which parents are judged today.
Some time later I regained consciousness. A large blood transfusion was feeding into one arm, a hefty dose of antibiotics into the other. You're out of danger, everyone congratulated me.
Thank heavens for modern medicine! Looking back on my son's birth, frightening as it was, it nevertheless seems like a thinly worked prologue to the complex drama that came next. Giving birth is dangerous, without a doubt, but the dangers that accompany motherhood come in many forms, I would learn, and physical danger was by no means the only one to fear.
The following day, my husband brought our two-and-a-half year old daughter, Jessie, into hospital to meet her new brother. How many picture books had we read to her to prepare for this moment? How much thought had we given to how to make this first encounter a joyful and positive one for her? And yet, for all our careful preparations, no fraction of anxiety had been given to what actually happened. The little girl who walked through the door, nervously holding her father's hand; who scrambled up on to the hospital bed and threw herself on top of me in a wholehearted embrace, was not the child I'd said goodbye to two days before.
A bizarre metamorphosis had occurred. She looked huge, suddenly. No longer a little girl at all. Compared to the baby's delicate limbs, her toddler hands and feet seemed enormous. Compared to his newborn fragility, her chunky vitality seemed almost menacing. In the space of just 48 hours my eye had become, shockingly, unaccustomed to her.
A week later, I was discharged from hospital and went home to a new life as the mother of two children.8 Ways Your Relationship With Your Partner Changes After Baby
Already drained by a difficult pregnancy and labour, I was wholly unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster that lay ahead, caring - or trying to care - for a tetchy baby and a demanding toddler. I became the kind of mother I never dreamed I'd be, the kind of mother who coos at her baby, then in the next breath snaps at her bewildered toddler. The next few months were a nightmare - bad for me, infinitely worse for my daughter, a hideous waking dream that never ended. I'd worried about whether I would be able to love the baby; the truth was that in those early days with two children, it was not the baby, but my daughter I had difficulty loving.
Baffled by my coldness, she clung, played up, acted out; in short, did whatever she could to try to recover our previous closeness. She commandeered the freshly washed babygrows for her teddies, climbed into the Moses basket in her muddy wellies; when I sat down to breastfeed, she'd clamber on to my shoulders; when I finally got the baby off to sleep, she'd thrust her face into his and wake him up again. Her increasingly extravagant efforts to reclaim my attention inevitably had the opposite effect.
I was scarcely less distressed than she was by the abrupt change in our relationship.
Marriage After Baby: 6 Solutions to Common Problems
It was like walking into a favourite room to find everything has been rearranged: However hard I tried, I could not get my bearings. Nothing was where I expected it or how I wanted it. I wandered through this skewed landscape in a state of agonised disorientation, lost and mapless. When I looked at my little girl, I felt none of the things I wanted to feel. When she turned to me, it was like being confronted by a stranger. Only late at night, when I'd tiptoe into her room to kiss her goodnight and pause to look down at her sleeping face, would I feel something of the steady tenderness of before.
Even now, 12 years on, it hardly bears thinking about what that time must have been like for her. Was it shame at my failure to love her properly that made me so determined to hide the fact from everybody else? I could have won an Oscar for the performance I put on for the health visitor. I told no one, neither friends, nor family. I didn't even confide in my husband.
What could I have said? I know it might not seem fair because you may never get thanks, but this will make your husband more receptive to future requests. And niceties breed a less combative atmosphere. Moreover, it might be catching! Parenting Styles The issue: Your parenting styles cancel each other out. It's nice to think you'd share child-rearing philosophies, but it's often hard to predict how you'll feel about sleep, food, and discipline until you're smack in the middle of your fourth night up with baby.
This is not the ideal time to discover that while you favor a sleep-training method that lets your child cry, your spouse really can't deal with tears for any amount of time. You may also find that your parenting styles clash as you reach for the pacifier at the first sign of distress softie while your partner says no sternly when the baby starts to drum with spoons on the high-chair tray toughie.
My friends Tina and Tim Anson discovered that they differed on just about everything when it came to the baby. And he lets naps happen anywhere, anytime, too. I'd come home to see Jake sleeping in the middle of a circle of toys on the living room floor at dinnertime!
Ditto for scheduled naps. Parenting Styles Explained What worked for them was letting the other deal with the consequences of his or her method. When Tim had to stay up with Jake until all hours on a night when the baby took a 5 p.
Similarly, the day Tina attempted unsuccessfully to play with Jake at his play stations while also doing some housework, she realized that having the baby play in the laundry room may be a small price to pay for actually getting the clothes washed. On more serious issues, such as sleeping or feeding, there are ways to compromise, too.
For certain things—such as when to start solids—you need to follow set guidelines. Talk to your pediatrician about what's recommended. For issues such as sleep i.
Then discuss what's best to do.
I know one mother, for instance, who actually slept at a friend's house for a week while her husband sleep-trained their 8-month-old son. After reading about the Ferber method, she agreed it was a good idea, but she still didn't want to listen to her son cry. Your Sex Life The issue: You have sex half as often, and it's twice the hassle. Of course you're in love, you're just not in the mood for getting naked under the covers. Step one, says Lindquist, is to get in the mood.
And the best way is to plan time for having sex. Sure, people joke about making dates for sex, but "remember, when you were dating, you did plan when you were going to have sex.
You got ready for a night out and thought about it beforehand. Get a sitter, shave your legs, and flirt a little. As for increasing the frequency of sex on nondate nights, experienced parents recommend making sure your bedroom is baby-free at bedtime. Couple Time The issue: Couple time is now family time. You're always together, but no longer alone. Who is more likely to break ties: How does gender affect closeness? It's more common to be estranged from a mother than a father or both parents.
Conversely, it's more common for daughters to estrange than sons.
5 Reasons Why Adult Children Estrange From Their Parents | WeHaveKids
However, when males estrange, it seems to be more final or longer-lasting: Who tends to estrange permanently: So sons and fathers are more likely to experience permanent closure than daughters and mothers. What about intermittent estrangements?
We have some insight into on-again-off-again estrangements, where family members cycle in and out of closeness over the years. So it's more likely for mothers to experience intermittent estrangements over the years. Who is most likely to cut off contact: The younger generation is usually the one to break ties.
Over half of people who "divorce" a parent say they were the ones who made the move. Is there any chance the relationship will be mended? According to the parents, yes: Most parents hold out hope that they will reconcile with their child.
Still my little darling
But according to the younger generation, no: And according to experts like Sheri Heller, LCSW, a NYC psychotherapist and interfaith minister in private practice, "If PD abusers lack the capacity for insight and positive change, it is likely they will persist with predation, denying their perfidious motives, and evidencing an absence of sincere remorse.
To re-engage with this degree of pathology puts the adult victim at risk for regressing into dysfunctional interpersonal patterns, succumbing to guilt and cognitive dissonance, getting mired in confused roles, and being flooded by abandonment panic. For many, this constitutes a deal-breaker which results in finality.
On the other hand, if you're looking for ways to deal with your parents rather than disowning them, read 5 Strategies for Dealing With Difficult Parents. The British study found an interesting generational discrepancy when it came to the communication of the reasons for the estrangement. In other words, many abandoned parents who are rejected by a child don't consciously know the reason, even though they were explicitly told. So they either forgot or didn't listen.
In fact, they don't even remember the conversation. This disparity only emphasizes the breakdown in communication in these families and suggests that the older generation might not be listening or has a hard time hearing what their children are saying, which is probably at the core of the problem. Is That the End? In closing, I want to say I am very well aware those listed aren't the only reasons for estrangement, nor will my advice apply in all situations.
I haven't mentioned trauma, abuse, divorce, or substance abuse. I haven't talked about undiagnosed mental health issues or those who simply refuse to take their meds. That said, people don't just walk away from families that are healthy. All families have their issues, but functional families talk about them, try to understand one another's perspectives, apologize for any hurt they've caused or wrong they've done, and truly move forward, beyond all that suppressed anger and resentment.
The exact opposite is true of unhealthy, disordered families. I lived in one for more than 40 years. Sadly, I didn't realize it until the abuse was heaped upon my husband and children as well, but when it became obvious, I demanded that it stop.
I tried discussing the matter, only to find myself enmeshed in bitter verbal arguments. I tried using parables and comparisons, pointing out other family dysfunctions and relating them to our own, but that failed, too.
I tried many ways to rectify the situation, but every time, I was met with anger and resistance. Contrary to what they think, I didn't estrange from them to punish them, I did so to protect myself and my children.
I realized I had become just like them and I made a conscious choice to change myself and to bring to an end the generations of dysfunction in my family tree. Sadly, our story doesn't end with a happily-ever-after, but I know I made the right decision, and I know I'm not alone. Every day I read stories, online support group threads, estranged child forums, and talk with people around the globe who feel they had no other choice but to walk away.
Not a single one of us is happy about it. Relieved it's over, yes, but certainly not happy with how or why.
I'm also privy to the perspectives of rejected parents. One commonly stated complaint among parents who have no contact with their children is that their child's behavior toward them reminds them of how they were treated by their own parents when they were young.
If this is you, I want you to ask yourself, "If my parent was that way and my child is that way, isn't it possible I am, too? They'll reconsider the things they've said and done because they want to repair their broken relationship with their child and are willing to do whatever is necessary to do so.
- Parenting Styles
- Why Would Someone Estrange From Their Parents?
- 2. You might hate your partner a little bit