Your Baby May Be Killing Your Relationship

Rant 22

A couple of years ago, a woman I know uploaded a ton of photos of her new baby to Facebook. No joke, there were like a hundred photos. Okay, so she was madly in love with her baby. How nice. But as I scanned through the photos, I thought to myself, Did they get divorced? I hadn't heard anything about my real world male friend divorcing his wife (the woman whose photos I was looking at). Yet my male friend, the father of the baby, was nowhere to be found in any of the photos. Not with the mom and kid at home. Not with them outside. Not with them at relatives' and friends' homes. It was as if he'd been erased from existence. He's a handsome man who is NOT camera shy. So where was he? The thought went out of my mind until I saw him about a year later, at a mutual friend's party.

"Hey, Doug," I greeted him. (His name isn't Doug.) "Where's Sally?" (Her name isn't Sally.)

Doug explained to me that Sally couldn't bear to tear herself away from their baby, who was now 2 years old, not even to come to a mutual friend's birthday party for just an hour or so. In fact, she had NEVER torn herself away from the baby.

"You mean she hasn't spent any time away from the baby?" I asked. "Nope," he said with a tight smile.

And something in my gut demanded, Turn away. Do not probe further. You do not want to know.

Because suddenly all of the pictures of Sally and her baby made sense. She had completely erased Doug from the picture. It was now about Sally and baby. Baby and Sally. Sally, baby, baby, Sally. They were the dynamic duo and Sally was NOT going to leave her for a little alone time with daddy.

Hey, when you have a kid, and you're just insanely in love with him or her, who can blame you for wanting to spend every single second you can with your child. But hello? You have a husband too.

Another friend confessed to me that her husband once said he feels like the "third wheel" now after the birth of their daughter. I had to agree that he was probably right -- I'd noticed that my friend had intensely focused on her daughter after her birth, and continued to do it, to the point where when I saw the three of them together, it almost seemed like the husband was some strange dude who had sauntered over and tried to join in when no one really wanted him. Another male friend told me that he often feels like he's just a "sperm donor."

Once, I was visiting a relative of mine who has three children with his wife. As she ran around after the kids all night, bathing them, undressing them, haranguing them to do their homework, I glanced at my relative, who had his headphones on and was calmly checking email. "Hey," I said, grabbing his attention. I thought I'd tease him a bit. "Don't you ever help out?"

"I try," he said. "But she doesn't want me to. She thinks I do it all wrong. She tells me to just stay out of the way, so I do." Ouch! Ladies, ladies. For sure some guys are totally clueless. And maybe they don't do everything perfectly -- but how are they going to learn when you do everything?

A husband may not be as cute as a baby, but he needs love too. I'm not saying you need to baby him, but maybe include him in your existence?! That is, if you want him to stay in it.

Do you ever feel like you're excluding your husband?

Image via JenX67/Flickr

love, living together, marriage, mom vs. man


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Tracey Plummer

What is really sad is what is going to happen to those moms when the kids grow up and move out on their own. Talk about a reality check. 

Angie... AngieHayes

Oh no, thats sad, Daddys need lovin too!

nonmember avatar Beth

Blush. With my younger son, I probably excluded hubs more than I should. We had a pretty bad time (separated) when our older son was a baby and I just became so used to doing it all. Now that he has called me on it, we try to get at least one overnighter every other month. Our younger son is autistic and I believe we would divorce if we didn't take at least a little time to be *us* without children/child care interrupting every other sentence. He also insisted I get a hobby and get out with friends every so often. Win-win. He feels more confident with our sons and I get to decompress.

fave82 fave82

These dads sound like pushovers. Grow a pair and stick up for yourselves!

linzemae linzemae

i could see myself being the type to not let my husband do anything because he wont do it right. i need to get over that, im learning to let him do more around the house. if i dont i find myself getting angry that he never lends a hand in anything. never ending battle... 

PonyC... PonyChaser

I don't know why we're surprised at this attitude. It is absolutely fostered from the moment sperm meets egg. It's all about the pregnant woman and the baby. She must spend ALL of her energy focusing on "what's best for baby" - to the point of altering her entire life. Meals, sleep, exercise, work, everything is changed because now she's pregnant. I heard a public service ad the other day saying that pregnant women should avoid going outside!! That they should even drive around in cars with the windows SEALED SHUT because air pollution could make their babies fat!!!

Once the babies are born, again, it's all about baby and mama. Breastfeeding? An absolute must. No pumping allowed to let dad relieve mom. Let's not even discuss the "evil" that is formula. Especially if it's "only" to help Dad form a bond with baby. Dad just doesn't know anything. Baby must be breast fed exclusively for as long as possible, too. And co-sleeping is a must... so if Dad disagrees, he can move into another room.

Think I'm lying? Read some of the other posts and comments on this very blog. That's where I got it from. Dads ARE often thought of as, and treated like, sperm donors. It's pathetic.

nonmember avatar Gina

Because it's totally the baby's fault that mom can't be bothered to be anything other than 'mom'.

Bloom... Bloomie79

I don't know how men put up with that, sad. This is a case of dad only being as good as you allow him to be. Take a deep breath ladies and allow yourself to be proven wrong. He can do everything you can do, some of it even better.

April... AprilJune

I have to say I am guilty of excluding my husband at times, but I don't do it consciously/on purpose. I'm home all day with our girls while he's at work, and the three of us have our own groove going by the time he gets home...sometimes he has to work to get in on it. I think that when moms are spending so much more time with their kids, it seems natural that dads feel left out- not right, but a logical consequence of that type of family arrangement. Definitely something to work on though!

the4m... the4mutts

I hate the title here. Its not the BABY ruining things, its the obsessive mother

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