Unhappy marriage after baby happens more often than you think.
Raise your hand if you've ever felt like you want to slap your husband after your baby is born.
Yeap, I think I've got a room full of hands.
Unhappy marriage after baby is a very common thing. And actually, my husband even told me in advance that, a baby is what makes or breaks a marriage.
I didn't believe him. I even almost cried looking at him taking care of our son on the first night my son was born.
I felt that I was so lucky to have him as my husband.
Until the day I wanted to slap him. And it only happened a few days after that first night, when we returned from the hospital.
When house chores, changing diapers, napping, crying and all the newborn chaos arose, that's when we started fighting. A lot!
Some days I was so tired and in so much pain with clogged milk ducts, and I had a headache from the previous night's lack of sleep (because my son has infant torticollis), I got hungry and I came out of the room, only to find my husband was watching movies! And NO LUNCH WAS MADE!
I had an urge to jump on top of him and slap him at least 10 times. I tried to hold myself on the ground, frown and ask him, "I can't believe you didn't make lunch!"
His response was, "You didn't ask me."
Oh boy, that surely set a fight.
I mean, who in the hell doesn't know that lunch needs to be made at lunchtime. And what the hell is he waiting for? For me to come down and make it on time? Did he know that I stayed up for 4 hours every night to "exercise" our son's neck, and I was exhausted from breastfeeding, diapering and all of the pain? WOW HE MUST BE BLIND OR STUPID!
That was just a sneak peek into a common scene in the house, when and how we started a fight. And I felt like I had to try so hard in our marriage and take care of our son when my husband didn't. And marriage doesn't feel fair anymore.
According to New York Times, sociologists theorize that, in heterosexual relationships, mothers are more unhappy with their marriages after they have children because they tend to take on more “second shift” work — child care and housework — and begin to feel that their relationships are no longer fair.
And I resented my husband for it.
But here's the thing. No one (maybe except your mom) could ever reach your expectation, especially your husband.
Or put it another way, if everyone is as perfect as you are, life would be so much better. Or this, you should have married yourself, but unfortunately you couldn't.
Being aware of this actually helped to open my mind a little bit. And now looking back, there are some things that I regret doing to my husband, and those things cause an unhappy marriage after baby.
1. I nagged him when he didn't do things my way
I have my standards. I still do.
But whenever my husband tried to do something that doesn't meet my standards, I went bananas.
We fought over little things like, "Look at the trash bin, it's full. You don't know how to take the trash out and put a new trash bag into it?". Or when he made lunch, I raised my voice and asked, "Did you put any salt into the soup? Well you don't eat soup but I do. Put some salt and taste it before you turn off the oven!"
2. I called him horrible names when he didn't do the house chores whenever he had free time
I didn't get enough sleep. That one is for sure. I sacrificed a lot for my son. And between his naps, despite my sleep deprivation, I tried to get up to do some cleaning, cooking or laundry.
But not my husband.
He would take NAPS whenever he had free time.
When I complained about all the chores I had to do, his response was, "why don't you just take naps?".
Holly Molly I went crazy. And I called him names.
3. I hated him whenever he seemed like he was relaxing
When I suffered, he needed to suffer too. There was no way that I suffered but he didn't.
So whenever he didn't look like suffering, I made it happen through a fight.
And I resented him for having his "me time" while I had none.
4. I didn't care about his feelings whatsoever
I mean, I already hated and resented him. I wanted to slap him and made him suffer, so that he understood my feelings. Who cared about his feelings, right?
I used to be careful with words around him because he could become sensitive with words, but after having my baby, I could scream at him from over the top of my lung.
5. I didn't communicate with him
I wanted him to figure out himself what his wife needed. And we were in some deep financial hardship but I didn't communicate with him clearly enough.
I didn't tell him what I wanted him to do, or what needed to be done, and I hated him for it.
I even pictured myself throwing the divorce to his face whenever he didn't do house chores.
6. I spoiled him and hated him whenever I did so
One thing I learnt from experience is that, most men are like children. If you spoil them, they would expect that from you all the time. And it got worse when a baby arrives, causing an unhappy marriage after baby.
I let my husband sleep through the night, while I was up for 4 hours straight. I hated him while watching him sleep.
Despite the pain from C-section, clogged milk ducts, I tried to do house chores and let him rest, I hated him when he ACTUALLY rested.
Feeling you have an unhappy marriage after baby is common.
But there are things you can or don't have to do to make it worse.
I made it worse with my silly mistakes. I am not sure if I could go back in time, how differently I could act. But at least I know for sure, I would not feel so much hatred and misery.
So if you are feeling you have an unhappy marriage after baby, you are not alone. Let me know if you are making the same silly mistakes I did, and if you plan to act differently to save your marriage and your sanity.