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Joined: May 2005
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My wife & I have been married for four years. It's been a really busy four years. We've had 2 kids {2 year old daughter, 5 month old son}, moved 5 times between us {me 3 times, her twice}, tried to adjust to living in a town where we don't know anyone, started a new job {her}, got fired {her}, started a stay at home business {her}, bought a house, and dealt with the usual conflict and challenges that comes with the early years of marriage. All in all, we've done ok, but the last year or so has been hard and we've both acknowledged we need to work on us. And we've tried, although it's hard with the 2 kids. We went to counseling once, and it was ok, but we were only able to do one session because of scheduling problems with our sitter and the kids. So we're basically talking a lot and acknowledging how each of us is contributing to the problems. I've learned so much about me and I feel like I've really made some great strides in understanding things better. In the past, if she was upset about something I did, I likely would have just told myself that she was being overly sensitive and she needed to get over it. I now understand how my actions impact her. And I think that's a big step. The major core issue in our relationship is that my wife is extremely insecure, and I don't help her to feel better about herself. In fact, I probably make her feel worse {in a subtle way, but obviously that is still a problem}. The bottom line is we are committed to each other and are going to try very hard to make this work.

Anyway, the last 3 days have been a roller coaster. Easter Sunday was horrible. We were just staying home and were going to have dinner with just us, no guests. The day got off to a bad start as I made a dumb comment about the Easter Egg hunt she had planned for my daughter. It was a little thing but I know it started the day off on the wrong foot, and it ultimately led to what came later. Things fell apart when my wife was making dinner. She burned the rolls, the smoke detector went off, and she cut her finger very badly. I have never, ever seen her so angry. I was playing with our daughter while she was in the kitchen and didn't really know everything that was going on with her. I went into the kitchen because I could tell she was having a hard time. She was cutting the ham and putting it on a plate that had shattered into multiple pieces. I'm assuming she broke it in frustration. I asked her what the problem was and could I help but she was too far gone at that point. She made some angry comments to me, referencing our disagreement from the morning, and I just shut down at that point which I think was the right thing to do. Dinner was challenging but my daughter didn't seem to know what was happening. The rest of the day was ok, we gradually cooled off and cleared things up as well as we could before bed.

The next day was great. I came home from work and she seemed happy and content and I felt very good myself. We were both relaxed and had a great time playing with the kids before and after dinner. We spent time together after the kids went down, and that night in bed we talked a lot about what had happened the night before. It was really great and felt very healthy. Just a great day.

Yesterday was another bad day. I could tell as soon as I got home that something wasn't right. My wife had a really hard day with the kids, mostly our son. She was trying to get him to nap in his crib and he wouldn't. He cried for quite a while and she really didn't get a break. When I got home, she seemed like she had been drinking {I should point out here that I grew up with alcoholic parents and I'm a bit hyper-sensitive about my wife's drinking; also, my wife does get depressed when she drinks}. She seemed not herself and even seemed as if she was slurring her words. It was noticable enough that I asked her about it, even though I knew that was something that may upset her. She denied having anything to drink or taking anything {I thought maybe she took a Xanax}. After dinner, we went downstairs and played with the kids. She still seemed not herself. She just seemed drunk, that's the only explanation I can come up with. At one point, she said she felt like our son was more developed at his age than our daughter was at the same age. About an hour earlier at dinner, she said the EXACT opposite--she felt our daughter was more developed than our son at the same age. I asked her about it and she said she had no recollection of saying what she did at dinner. It was just an hour earlier. I put our daugther down for the night at that point and then came down and asked her again if she was ok. She assured me she was. After we put our son down for the night, we talked more about it. She didn't get upset, and said she understood why I was concerned. She said she was really tired and that was the only explanation she could come up with. She said she knew she wasn't being herself.

I actually think I would have preferred if she had told me that she was drunk or had taken Xanax. My concern now is that she's losing it a bit. After we went to bed, I couldn't sleep and thought about what could happen and what I would do if she just couldn't continue with being a stay at home mom. I'm optimistic about our future, but after a night like last night and Easter, I get cynical and I think to myself this isn't going to last because she's just going to not be able to function anymore and she's going to have a breakdown. She has a history of depression and has attempted suicide in the past {many, many years ago}. I hope I'm wrong. I guess I'm not really looking for advice, I'm just needing to vent. I know this is quite long...

Joined: Apr 2009
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williamw,

Hey man,

As I don't have kids my wife is self employed and works from home. Her temperament sounds similar to your wife's as well. We have moved four times ourselves in four years of marriage, the first two years of our marriage was filled with too much work (I worked 80+ hours a week and then she had a part time job and her own business on top of that), then we went through a year of exhausting interviewing as I changed jobs and moved to a new area.

I think if you added two kids into that mix my wife would be in a very similar spot as your wife. You guys have had A LOT of change.

I just want to let you know that you're not alone and encourage you to stick it out.

I understand the difficulty of finding time together because of your two kids but it sounds like your wife is just flat out exhausted.

What helped us get out of the stress and tiredness of all the change was to get way together. We also committed regularly to a date night once a week.

Would you have someone who you could exchange child care with to give you all a free night?

What about asking her if she needs to get away with some friends or family so she can reboot?

I know you said you didn't need advice so take it or leave it.

Again, you're not alone and I know how you feel.

Jake
http://holycrapmarriage.blogspot.com

Joined: Oct 2007
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You need to get your wife to her doctor. PPD, hormones, suicide ideation...could be any number of things. The slurring words and memory issue makes me wonder if she might be diabetic and not know it. This soon after a baby there can be a dozen medical things wrong with her.

That said, a SAHW with 2 kids under 3...recipe for disaster. How many times a week does she leave the house - by herself? Where YOU watch the kids? Does she have an exercise program or belong to a gym? Does she still see friends? Is she involved in any hobbies/sports?

Do you see where I'm going? I distinctly remember the day my 'depression' kicked in - when I couldn't afford a used running stroller (I used to run), I was 30 pounds overweight, I realized I was too ashamed to ask my H for the money, and I realized he was NOT coming home on any decent schedule to watch the baby to allow me to get back to running any earlier than 10pm every day.

In other words, I was stuck. I saw my life ahead, and it wasn't pretty. But it's common for women. Because they know, for the most part, they are on their own. Even if they 'get' to stay at home all day, they probably can't count on their husband to do more than token help around the house. And 95% of watching the kids is up to them.

I don't know if this fits you, but I urge you to consider it first, before we look at other things.

What does a typical day look like for her? For you? Let's compare them.

Joined: May 2005
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Jake, you are right on all counts. We've committed multiple times to a date night once/week but we just can't seem to do it consistently. But we both know we need to do it. Thanks for your words, it's good to know others are in the same boat. The constant change has been hard...Catperson, she does get out fairly regularly, BUT it is mostly because of the business she started so it is work. I offer a lot, but she doesn't take me up on it often. Interesting, in the middle of last night's situation, she did go out for a run. But it is rare that she gets out alone. I think I may need to start "forcing" her to do it. As for what a typical day looks like for her compared to me, I think the answer to that is pretty obvious. I will say that without a doubt, a stay at home mom to little ones is the hardest job in the world. I never would have thought that before we had kids, but it is definitely true. Part of her hesitation in going out alone is likely because I've had some hard times with the kids when she has gone out, and that probably makes her hesitant. It obviously shouldn't be that way though. Anyway, I would really like it if she got out once/week just for her. I'm going to try and discuss that with her tonight...

Joined: Oct 2007
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Great! Before you do that, though, one thought. Try this "I can't believe the burden you're under with 2 young kids. I could never do it like you do. But I want to make sure you're happy, too. And, as we both know, I can make a pretty mess of things when it comes to taking care of the kids. So I had a thought. How about, for the next week, you let ME take care of them while you hover in the background, ready to catch us if I fall? Watch, observe, and let me know what I should be doing differently so I can improve. I really want to be more involved, but I'm scared to. So will you help me learn?"

Joined: Oct 2008
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I'm not sure that'll work. If the guy's wife is like the typical woman, what will most likely happen if she's "hovering" in the background is the first time it even SEEMS like he's ABOUT to "mess up" with the kids, she'll just swoop in and take over, assuming full responsibility for the kids again.

It will not be relaxing at all for her, and he'll just feel like an incompetent boob when she swoops in. Plus she could end up even MORE reluctant to leave the kids in his care, which will NOT help their marriage. No, it's best he just assumes responsibility and shoo her out of the house completely for awhile. I seriously doubt he'll do any permanent damage to the kids in the meantime, and he'll learn to take care of them the same way she did-through trial and much error. But the kids will survive.

And he needs to get more proactive in making sure date nights and other mutual time away from the kids happens more regularly and often. Arrange reliable babysitting, even if you have to pay every time-your marriage depends on it.


The Macnut-42, W - 45 3 stepkids,
SDD - 27, SDS1 - 22, SDS2 - 18
Joined: May 2005
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I don't think it's a bad idea...She's suggested something similar once or twice...Something to think about for sure...Last night was much, much better. I honestly wonder if something was interfering with her medication or something the day before. I can't understand it. There's part of me that can't let go of the idea that she was drunk, but I know that's my own personal issues coming through. We talked about a date night this weekend, hopefully we can do it. And she was receptive to the idea of taking a night to herself once/week...


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