The divorce rate in America is considered tragic by many; the number of broken homes in this nation seems to grow from year to year. But the complicated causes of divorce and the debatable advantages and disadvantages of it, for all involved, is not really the topic at hand here. Instead, we’re going to talk about one common problem that plagues many marriages. And that problem is, at a first glance, children! While most couples yearn to build a family together and almost everyone can agree that children are a gift, increasing the members of the household from 2 to 3 or 4 or 5 or more can mean trouble.
Too commonly, wives who become new mothers find themselves overburdened and stressed out and begin focusing all their energies toward the children, and neglecting their husbands in the process.
So we’re going to explore why this happens, who if anyone is to blame, what the consequences are, and what married couples can do to prevent this from ever happening in the first place! Of course, to find the solution, it’s crucial to have a real understanding on what the problem is.
There are many reasons new mothers today often feel too overwhelmed to give their husbands the attention they need. One of those more obvious reasons is that many women today have a lot of roles to juggle, more than they did in the past. For example, in addition to being a wife and a mother, they more and more commonly have full-time jobs too, careers they care about. And even with the help of nannies and babysitters, women can find themselves in over their heads. And if they don’t feel they have a supportive husband, they may consciously or unconsciously resent their’ husbands and end up neglecting them. The combination of being pressured from the weight of the world and feeling resentful about it can spell conflict or perhaps something even worst the mother and father can become strangers in their own home.
Children are a real handful, especially for young parents who may not have been prepared for the new additions to their home. As wonderful as they are, they also are a financial, emotional, and physical strain. A new baby means you can kiss those peaceful evenings goodbye and say hello to sleepless nights and hurried, hectic days. The rewards are tremendous, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a significant amount of sacrifice parents must make if they choose to introduce a new human being or two into the world!
If a wife is struggling with her role as parent or she feels a distance with her husband, she may dive headfirst into being a mother and end up ignoring other obligations she has. Who’s to blame? Well, it’s not as black and white as that.
It may seem a clichÃ© piece of advice, but’ communication really is key to an enduring marriage. It’s better to be confrontational and openly fight about troublesome issues, rather than bury them. After all, they will only bubble up at the surface later and cause even more of a headache down the road. If you are a husband who misses the wife you knew before the children entered the picture, try to put yourself in her shoes.
Is she balancing a full-time job with parenting? Is she having to discipline and care for the child more than you? Does she perhaps feel like she’s not giving her children enough attention when she gives you attention? The answers to these questions very well could be ‘no,’ and in that case, you simply have to ask more questions.
You shouldn’t approach it with the intention to find some way to point the finger at her. A marriage shouldn’t be one big ‘blame game.’ Instead, try to see things from her perspective. Ask her these questions, without instantly preparing to hop to the defense.
If she’s consuming herself with childcare and only sees you as a background figure, there’s a reason. She may feel resentful toward you for reasons A, B, or C, or perhaps she has some of her own emotional troubles she’s dealing with, or perhaps and more likely there is a combination of factors that have led to the unfortunate new relationship the two have you have developed after the baby. Children are a true distraction from several and relatively less important matters. However, if you or your wife are using children to avoid issues relating to the health of your marriage, then you simply can’t let that go on. Children should not be the reason you don’t talk about an issue that’s bothering you! In fact, you owe to to the children to discuss issues and even argue from time to time.’
As a husband, you can show your wife you care by doing the laundry one day, or taking the kids out for dinner (to get them out of her hair) and letting her have a night to herself, and you can do these things without her ever asking you to. Doing little things like this can make a big difference and remind her that you are there to give her support.
Only because we’re discussing women who neglect their husbands after children enter the picture, are we illustrating the role of father and mother in this narrow light. It’s possible you are in a household where you, the husband, share as many or more parenting and other ‘domestic’ responsibilities as your wife; but if that’s the case, you’d be less likely to read this article!
Remember that if talking it over with your wife doesn’t work, it’s okay to go to couple’s therapy. In fact, it can be enormously beneficial to your marriage. And if you have any doubts about getting outside help, just consider what the alternative might be an unhappy marriage that eventually might erode and end up in a messy divorce. If you recognize there’s a real problem, you still have the power to save your marriage so as you try to fix it, let love and compassion motivate your direction.