Couples Who Divorce Over Their Crying Baby Have Much Bigger Issues

crying babyEven if you and your partner have the world's greatest relationship, odds are, when you brought your perfect, tiny newborn home, shit got real. Sleepless nights and the sound of a crying baby for weeks or months on end are enough to make the most rock-solid of couples get bitchy with one another from time to time. But did you know that some couples actually have gotten divorced over sleeplessness caused by crying babies?

Yes, really.

A recent survey of 2,000 parents found that 30 percent of those who had gotten divorced cited lack of sleep due to children as the reason. The Daily Mail also noted that research from the University of California shows that couples who sleep well are likely to "be more polite to each other". An obvious scientific breakthrough.

Simple fact is, being woken up every three hours or so when you're god-awful tired sucks. Big time. But when you decide to have a kid, this is what you get. Babies wake up. And they cry. I don't think any expecting couple has ever been regaled with tales of how the first few months of parenthood are the equivalent to a romantic getaway. No, nothing can prepare you for the whirlwind that is constantly interrupted sleep, but people have a general idea of what they're in for. Nobody said bringing a human into the world was easy.

Getting divorced over a crying baby is nuts. And truth be told, I really don't think waking up during the night is an actual reason couples split. Sure, it's stressful and can bring out the worst in people, but odds are, if you're blaming your crying child for the breakup of your marriage, there were other issues there beforehand. 

Having an infant is hard. Really hard. And it isn't easy to always remain poised and have grace under fire. Lord knows I sometimes acted in a way I wasn't proud of when I first became a mom. But try -- try -- to keep in mind that you're all in this together, and that fighting (or divorcing) because you're tired will only make things worse, and your baby will sense it.

And remember: It's just temporary. Babies do eventually sleep through the night.

Did you and your partner fight when your child was first born?


Image via bbaunach/Flickr

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miche... micheledo

It is crazy to divorce over that.  But having lived through an extremely colicky baby and reaching near insanity (seriously felt like I would be committed) from lack of sleep.  I understand it.  My husband was GREAT and such a help through it all.  He was also very patient with the baby and with me as I was falling apart.


What is really sad is that they didn't get some encouragement to hang in there and wait until that stage was over to make a decision that was so very important.  :(

jhslove jhslove

We didn't fight, but there was definitely some resentment and it took a conscious effort not to let it develop into something that could really damage our relationship. Actually, our daughter's first (colicky, not-sleeping, hellacious) months made our relationship stronger in a lot of ways. We don't have any family nearby, so the only way we got through it was by sticking together and working as a team. It was hard, but we got through it and came out stronger than before.


On the other hand, we had a strong relationship before we had her. I definitely think the stress of parenting a newborn can bring out the worst of issues in a relationship that doesn't have a strong foundation. But in those cases, the crying baby isn't the problem, but rather the other issues that the stress of the crying baby EXPOSES.

JessL... JessLogansMommy

Our second was colic and neither of us got to sleep for a good year.  When you're walking around hallucinating from lack of sleep you end up being very short with each other.  I could see how people would divorce over this.  You just have to suck it up and deal with it and know that one day it will get better. 

nonmember avatar mom123

As a single mom, I'm convinced that even having a grumpy human being around would be much more help than doing it on my own... What's the logic behind this? "I'm too tired and I don't like you, let's divorce and then I'll be even MORE tired because I'm doing it all on my own?!" ...For real?

Ashley Ross

sounds me like if your getting divorced because of a crying baby, you weren't fully committed to your relationship and never really intended on stayingmarried...

nonmember avatar Anne

This is why my husband sleeps in another room. I am a stay-at-home mom, and he goes to work at 4am daily. He is able to get the sleep he needs to focus on his job, and if the baby wakes me up (we co-sleep), I just nap with her during the day. It makes us all happy and it's been great for our sex life :D

corus... coruscations

Actually, I can understand why this happens.  Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing.  It makes you more irritable, angry, likely to pick fights, and less able to harness your conflict resolution skills.  It can change your personality and lead to depression.  When you only sleep for 1 or 2 hours a day repeatedly, nothing else matters and it's easy to blow up at everything.  When you are that tired, it takes so much energy to walk and talk and take care of the baby, you don't have any to spare for even talking to your spouse, and when they do anything that irks you or requires you to expend more energy, it's easy to blow up.  In that situation you can forget how much you love and appreciate each other.


Can you tell that I'm the mother of a colicky infant?  My husband travels a lot for work and I'm on my own most nights, and I was that tired.  (Luckily our baby is 3 months old and it's improving.)  We have a great marriage and are fully committed to each other, but there were weeks when I felt like I understood why people with young children get divorced.  If those horrible weeks stretched to last for months, it's not hard to imagine that even the strongest marriage could succumb.

Heath... HeatherJo11

I get it. Our son had some serious undiagnosed intestinal abnormalities.. I slept 1-2 hours for every 24 hour day..I was a walking lunatic. For the first 6 months. I snapped at my partner, picked fights & generally felt like I was adrift & alone. That he just got to play with the baby & show him off & do the fun stuff & not the work..He had zero experience with children/babies & came from a family where his father never cared for him or his siblings, his mother did absolutely everything from baby raising to cooking, cleaning. Very old fashioned, old school family..much different from my own upbringing..He worked constantly & needed to sleep at night. & didn't understand I needed help, that I wasn't super woman..I found myself just irritated& resentful to see him asleep while I took care of a crazy baby who screamed and cried all night. I had to hold him constantly & do all of the caretaking. And I was frustrated & not acting like myself. I questioned my relationship, my competency as a mother, my mental state.. It took some serious sit down talks & compromise & change..& After multiple attempts to convince my sons dr. I was not just an exhausted first time mom we finally got to see a specialist & had emergency surgery to resolve some serious issues with our son. So people may say the foundation wasn't there if that could break a marriage....but I see how it could happen, it nearly did for me. And we have no lack of love or respect in our relationship.

April... AprilJune

My husband and I argued a lot about sleep, especially with baby #2. It had less to do with both of us being tired, but more about the imbalance of sleep....he was getting so much more of it than I was, and yes, he had to go to work in the morning, but it's not like I laid around napping while taking care of a 2 year old and newborn (which he actually suggested I did in one heated argument). I can see how if that imbalance continues for any length of time, couples would end resenting each other, and get divorced.

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