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Question
First off, I would like to thank you in advance for any sage advice you may have to offer.
 I am a 44 y/o male,and my wife is 36. We have been married for four years, and have a lovely 21 month old daughter. Since my daughter has been born, it seems like the whole dynamic of our relationship has changed.
  My wife co-sleeps in the nursery room, and has done so since a few weeks after she was born. She continues to co-sleep as our child wakes up often during the night, sometimes to feed. She has some sensory issues related to eating solid food, hence she is still relying heavily on breast milk.
   So basically, we have not shared a bed together for almost 2 years, and also have not had intercourse since birth (my wife has recently started seeing a physical therapist for vaginal spasms which are making sex painful).
    In addition, we have only been out on a date once since birth, as my wife gets anxiety about leaving child with most everyone. She has a very full plate, working part time, taking care of child while I am at work, etc, so I try not to stress her out anymore than she is.
 I just get very frustrated sometimes, and miss my pre-child wife. I do not think there is much I can do except wait until our child gets older and hope something changes.
Sorry for the long email, I just want to give you as much information as possible.

Thanks,
Jason

Answer
Hi Jason - I can understand your frustration. I suspect yyou two may have two conmcurrent problem - both of which are "fixable.[1] The symptoms you describe suggest your wife may be a "Grown Wounded Child" (GWC). If she is, you may be also, because GWCs often choose each other. If one or both of you are, you risk passing psychological wounds on to your child. See these for detail:  http://sfhelp.org/gwc/gwc.htm   http://sfhelp.org/gwc/means.htm  //  http://sfhelp.org/cycle.htm

If either of you is a GWC, study online "lesson 1" http://sfhelp.org/gwc/guide1.htm for healing options.

[2] You two may not know how to problem-solve as teammates together. See these:

http://sfhelp.org/cx/basics.htm  //  http://sfhelp.org/cx/skills.htm  // http://sfhelp.org/cx/skills/ps.htm

For all your sakes, I suggest you mates patiently also study online "lesson 2"  http://sfhelp.org/cx/guide2.htm. Doing so will empower you parents to teach your daughter how to communicate effectively - a life-long gift!

And see these ideas about "sexual problems":  http://sfhelp.org/relate/mates/sex.htm

I assume you're consulting a pediatrician about your child's feeding peoblems.

Questions = welcome - Pete

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Peter Gerlach, MSW

Expertise

I can answer questions about choosing a mate wisely, marital communications and problem solving, affairs, same-gender relationships, trust, respect, bonding and intimicy, values differences, boundary problems, grieving, dealing with ex mates, parents, and in-laws, remarriage, separation, divorce, abuse, feeling unloved, codependence, psychological wounds, money disputes, balancing kids, careers, and marital primacy, etc. I cannot answer legal or medical questions

Experience

I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced. I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see http://sfhelp.org/hazatrds. This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.

Organizations
I now answer "AllExpert.com" questions on stepparenting, communication, and counseling. I belong to "SelfGrowth.com, "Death with Dignity," "Compassion and Choices," and to the online Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) at http://acestudy.org/

Publications
I've published over 200 free Internet articles on childhood-trauma recovery and wholistic health, communication skills, healthy grieving, human relationships (including marriage and divorce), family health, effective parenting, and managing a stepfamily). These articles are in the form of seven free self-improvement lessons (http://sfhelp.org). These articles are augmented by 168 YouTube videos ("gercacn" channel); I've published a book on childhood-trauma recovery ("Who's *REALLY Running Your Life?"), and other books on interpersonal communicactioin skills ("Satisfactions"), remarriage ("The Remarriage Book"), "Stepfamily Courtship", and "Stepfamily Co-parenting" All published by Xlibris.com.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Stanford University (1959); Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from George Williams college (1981); hundreds of hours of post-grad trainng from Northwestern U. the University of Chicago, et. al. in a wide range of human-relationship topics.

Awards and Honors
The state of Illinois licensed me to practice clinical social work in 1981. I was selected twice to serve on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA), and am currently on the Stepfamily-expert panel at Auburn University; I was the Board chairman at a major public mental-health agency in suburban chicago, and was the chairman of the Parent Relations Council for a major suburban High School. I currently have over 500 subscibers on YouTube since I began uploading educational videos in May, 2011.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked with over 1,000 men; women; dating, merried, remarried, divorcing, and redivorcing couples; and whole families. I'm currently 74, semi-retired, and disabled, and I do therapy with people and couples by phone and Internet (Skype).

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