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TOPIC: Relationship breaking down/ young baby

Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36314

Hi everyone I am new to the discussion board. Am 35 and have been married for 8 years, we have an 11 month old baby girl who is the light of my life.
Things between my wife and I have been rocky for a while, in fact ever since she got pregnant all the issues that we were able to deal with previously became more and more of a problem (family i.e. parents, money, culture etc). Now we tend to argue daily, the house is not a pleasant place to come home to after work, really all I look forward to these days is the time with my daughter every evening and weekends. I think both my wife and I feel that each is no longer as loving and respectful and however much we try to patch things up it is always only a temporary (1/2 days) restbite and then the arguments etc start again.
I believe I am a very good Dad and have been very hands on with helping out with caring for our baby, chores etc - but it almost feels the harder I try the less respect I get and the worse things get. I think my wife has found being a new mother very difficult so its not like the support I am giving she doesn't want.
The wider family i.e. my parents and hers have always been a problem, I don't like hers and she does not like mine. Whareas before we were able to keep people out, now with the baby everyone wants a piece of the action so there is a lot more additional strain and opinions/pressure etc.
I guess my fear is that we are spiraling (quickly) to divorce. What happens to my daughter if this happens frankly terrifies me.
My wife is from another country, not UK (although my daughter was born in UK and has UK passport). Part of me fears she will just take the baby and get on a plane and make it very difficult for me to see my daughter if at all. She always wanted to go back to her home country and the only reason keeping her in the UK was me.
I want to do what's best for the baby, but honestly if divorce process starts I believe it will all become very personal and my daughter and my relationship with her will be the first things to suffer. I fear things will get vindictive, and my love for my daughter will be used against me. Everyone knows she is my life, and therefore everyone knows how much anything affecting my seeing her will hurt...
A very sad time.
Anyone been through anything similar and has any words of wisdom?

Thanks

DP

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Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36317

Hi DaddyPig,

welcome to DAD. First of all congratulations on the birth of your daughter and becoming a dad - She sounds lovely.

Wow sounds like you have a lot going round in your head at the moment.

Did you say that you had issues before but they seemed magified after your wife fell pregnant?


Gooner

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Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36319

Thanks Goonerplum.
Yes, my wife (after doing her education and working in UK) never went back to her home country because we married in the UK. I think she has been made to feel guilty about this by her family and this has created tensions between us. With the baby arriving things like language, way of bringing her up, cultural values etc have become to be bigger issued than before as before it was just the two of us and the wider families were easier to keep out of our life.

DP

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Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36325

Well...international marriages have their own pitfalls, like different cultures,languages to name but a few.
I can talk from personal experience as it can be very very difficult to find a compromise everyone can be
happy with.
Does your wife originate from a country within the EU?

Have you given counselling or mediation a thought?

Best wishes to you
Kirsten

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Life is simple...it's just not easy.

Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36326

Hi DaddyPig,

Right first of all, just to put your mind at rest: As you are married to the mother you have parental responsibilty for your child so she can not just leave the country with your daughter. There are steps you can take to stop this. However lets put that to one side and talk about your relationship with your wife.

It appears to be a normal occurance for relationships to be put under strain with the arrival of a baby, see this news story that we featured a little while back. One Plus One have named this Baby Quake.

If I read your post correctly it sounds as if you are both feeling as if your relationship is not as loving and respectful as you would like, is this correct? I get the feeling, from what you have said, that you would like to try to improve your relationship?

Keep talking.

Gooner

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Last Edit: by Goonerplum.

Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36328

Man, It can be tough after your first baby is born. Lack of sleep, trying to find time to spend quality time with your wife, working full time and trying to do stuff when you get home. All the small stuff suddenly feels like massive problems. Also if your wife is at home with baby all day long she must feel like she has no life of her own, that she is just living day to day for you and baby. My wife felt really isolated.

It felt like all the fun had gone out of relationship and trying to adjust was difficult. You don't need to come from different parts of the world to have different cultures. Both my wife and myself were bought up differently by our own parents and had different ideas on certain things - our cultures were different, even though we are both from a British white middle class background. This all became more apparent with the arrival of a baby. I guess the toughest thing was meshing that all together and creating our own 'culture' for our baby.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Goonerplum, DaddyPig

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Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36333

Thanks for your reply Kirsten.
Indeed my wife is a dual national she has British citizenship and of a country outside EU.
I have suggested councelling a few times but that has met with an angry response. I think she would say the issues are with me...

DP

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Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36334

Thanks Gooner,
You are right we would like to try to improve things and divorce is not something that either one of us wants but we seem to be at a stage that everything each other does irritates or makes the other angry (even the attempts to improve things...).
You are right the worst we can do is stop talking as then it really is over.

DP

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Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36339

I would agree that relationships do come under strain at this time. Being a full-time parent can be quite mundane at times and relationships can suffer as a result. In my experience talking is important but can also be detrimental if the same things are gone over when not enough sleep has been had by either one or both of you.

Are you at the stage with your baby yet where you are able to give your wife some time for herself? - even if it is just a long bath, or an evening out at the cinema with a friend? Do you think your wife would appreciate this if you suggested it to her? As well as this it can be really helpful to try to make time to listen to one another - is there ever time in the evenings when your daughter is asleep when you can spend quality time together to listen to how each other are feeling?

I hope things improve

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I am a father to a boy (6) and a girl (3). I am also a researcher interested in fathers' stories of parenting.

I am here on both counts. To chat as a father and to listen.

My aim is to give a voice to fathers. By listening to what being a father means to fathers themselves I hope to help websites for parents provide the best possible service and also help give policy makers real insight into fathers’ everyday lives.

Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36341

Sorry just caught up on this one.

It's positive that neither of you want to divorce. maybe you need to sit down and talk about how the two of you fix it. no one person is to blame - it takes two of you to screw up a relationship and it takes both of you to repair it.

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Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36343

DaddyPig,

I would suggest the two of you talk - and both really listen to each other. Try to avoid "You" conversations ie "You always" and "You don't" which can sometimes sound like a list of complaints. "I feel", "I need" and "It would be great if" statements help to make the situation less confrontational.

Relationships need working on, they are not perfect and do go through rough patches that test them. But as the two of you seem to want to make this work then you should be able to navigate how to improve it.


Gooner.

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Re: Relationship breaking down/ young baby 6 years 3 weeks ago #36344

Thank you to everyone for their replies.
I will take your advice and I hope salvage the marriage.

DP

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