I never, ever, ever would have thought that starting a family would be so hard on my marriage.
Last night, my hubby told me that he doesn’t feel close to me at all anymore. He wanted to know whether I still loved him. If I knew that he loved me. He said that he feels completely useless and unwanted.
Not that any of this was really news to me. We have had abbreviated versions of this conversation several times over the past few months. There is such a distance between us now. I think it’s just the stress we’ve been under, but I don’t know. We don’t have time for each other. We are often in the same room but barely talk to each other. We snap at each other over seemingly minor things. I have absolutely no desire to be intimate with him.
David said that there are three things that really upset him: 1. He can’t “fix” Brooklyn’s medical problems. 2. Because of that, he can’t “fix” me (the post-partum depression). 3. He doesn’t think that I am at all attracted to him anymore. He feels like he has had to almost force me to have sex with him the few times it has happened since Brooklyn was born. He doesn’t feel wanted.
I can’t seem to make him understand that it really isn’t anything personal. I am so, so, so tired and so, so, so stressed out. I know he is both of those things also. But I can’t ever put it aside. I stay sad and weepy and exhausted. I feel guilty and inadequate. I am anxious and worried and scared. I use what little energy I have at the end of the day to take care of Brooklyn. To try to be happy around her. To try to be a good mommy. I don’t have any energy left for what he wants from me.
Furthermore, as a man, he doesn’t comprehend that I can’t be in the mood to be close in that way when I don’t feel close to him in any other way. And I can’t really explain why we aren’t close in any other way now.
David and I were so close and such good friends that we didn’t have problems with some things that are regarded as being hard on a marriage. “The first year of marriage is the hardest year you will ever have,” we were repeatedly told. Our first year was a breeze. No problems. “Working opposite shifts will put a toll on your marriage,” they said. Nope. We made time for each other and we were great. We felt like we were closer than most couples were and thought that was the reason we didn’t have a hard time with those things.
This is not to say that our relationship has always been perfect. Of course not. But when there have been problems, we have quickly worked through them. And now it seems that we can’t. I don’t know what to do.
“I wish I was better,” he said. I asked him what that meant. “A better husband. A better dad. A better provider so you didn’t have to work.”
“I wish I was better,” I told him. “I should be happier now than I’ve ever been. I have to take these damn pills just to deal with life, and they don’t even really work. I’ve always wanted what I have right now, and I can’t be happy. I don’t understand.”