I am in need of some advice. My husband and I have been together for 5 years, married for almost 2 years. But we have been having some problems for a while now. I have felt us getting further and further away from each other, and it’s to the point now where we are both very unhappy. I am 30 years old and he is 26. I have a 9 year-old son from a previous relationship, and we have a 5 month-old son together.
My husband and my older son used to have a good relationship, but they no longer do. They argue constantly. When it comes to our infant son, my husband barely has a relationship with him, saying that he doesn’t do well with babies. He can’t handle the crying, he doesn’t want to hold him, and he doesn’t do poopy diapers. He won’t change a diaper unless I make him. And so far his main involvement is to make an occasional bottle or giving him his pacifier. (This was a planned baby that we tried to conceive for 3 years.) And I really feel like we are not a team in any aspect of our relationship whatsoever.
Also, my husband is a huge gamer, spending most of his time on his computer. This was known before we got married, but has not gotten any better since expanding our family. Our quality time together is watching a TV show together and then he goes back to his game. He has his friends stay at our house on an almost daily basis, sometimes staying for weeks at a time. When I tell him that this bothers me, he says I need to accept that that is the way it is. I am forced to clean up after grown men more than my own children.
When I try to talk to my husband about how I feel or about something that bothers me, it always turns into an argument where he makes me feel guilty by saying I am never happy and that he can never do anything right and that I am always mad about something. Our sex life is non-existent. He claims that he just has a very low sex drive, though he has been busted taking care of things on his own numerous times. He then blames me for it saying that all men do that and that I shouldn’t expect him to have sex with me every time he’s in the mood. That it’s just easier to do it on his own.
I have asked him to seek couples counseling and he says that I am the one with the problem so I should go to counseling. He thinks if we go to counseling they will blame everything on him and he doesn’t want to do that. I am to a point where I don’t feel like I can talk to him about anything without it turning into a fight. I am starting to have thoughts about getting my own place because I don’t feel like I belong here anymore. If feels more like him and his friends house than our families house. I am getting very depressed and it’s starting to take a toll on my health. I don’t know what to do to make this right. But something needs to change.
How can I get through to him?? How can I get my husband back and our marriage back on track?
Thanks for your question. We’re sorry you’re having a difficult time right now.
Let’s start with the issue around your baby. Yes, you and your husband are a team and it would be nice if he were more involved with taking care of his son. But some guys take a while to feel connected to their newborn; and until they can actually DO something with their kid they just aren’t sure of where they stand in the picture. It’s hard to give, give, give and get absolutely nothing in return except constant crying and more pooping. Remember, you’ve already connected with your child because you carried him in your womb for 9-10 months. Your husband is still trying to figure out where he stands with his son.
He also might be feeling overwhelmed by the fact that he’s now a father and he realizes all the responsibilities that come with being a father. He might not be showing how he feels but he’s definitely feeling something. But instead of dealing with his feelings and trying to understand what’s going on, he’s avoiding everything and instead acting like a kid himself, playing games with his buddies, and generally rejecting the notion that he’s now a parent. He needs help with this.
Why don’t you try involving him in different ways for a start? Instead of getting upset at him about not changing diapers or feeding his kid—although we agree that he should be involved with that—ask him to rock his boy to sleep. Or ask him to take his son for a walk with a baby backpack. (A front facing pack is extra sweet.) Try to make him see that his son needs a father as much as he needs a mother. Help your husband see how important he is to his son.
Your other issues are also likely connected to the birth of your new baby. Some guys freak out over the thought of their wife giving birth. Up until this point he’s viewed you as a sexual being. (We’re not saying that’s all he views you as but you understand what we’re saying.) And if he was present in the delivery room, he might be having a hard time transitioning back into seeing you as the woman he was/is attracted to instead of a birthing machine. This experience affects a lot of guys and usually fades after a time.
What can you do?
We think you should sit down and write him a heartfelt letter expressing all of your feelings. Tell him how much you miss him and how much you love him. Tell him how much your son needs him. Let him know that you think he’s going to be a good father. (Even if you’re not sure) And tell him how much you look forward to having things go back to the way they were physically. Basically invite him back into your life.
Don’t use the letter as a way to point out what he’s not doing. Once you get him seeing all of the things he’s missing then hopefully he’ll be more open to discussing how to get your lives back on track together. Because we agree with you. He should be more involved with his family. His friends shouldn’t be staying over the house unless there’s some emergency which happens maybe once or twice a year. (Maybe) And your quality time together shouldn’t just be watching TV together. You two need to start “dating” again, if that makes sense. Things have to be a little more fun.
We know you’re tired. Taking care of a newborn is very taxing on many levels. And when you feel like you’re doing it all yourself it can be even more difficult. But try Misty, to make the extra effort to mend your relationship before it’s too late, and before you decide to move out and leave your husband. You have a family together. And ultimately keeping your family together is the number one goal.
Also, we agree that counseling would be a good idea for the two of you. We understand how he feels though. In fact, a lot of people feel the way he feels about counseling. (That the counselor will blame it all on him.) So offer to let him pick the counselor. Or try out a few people and let him decide who he’s most comfortable with. But don’t bring this subject up until you’ve tried mending some things on your own.
Good luck. Hope this helps.
ps. Let your friends know about us. Thanks!
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