I remember so clearly how wonderful things were with my wife and I for the first three years of our marriage. Though we were working ungodly hours every day building a successful business together, we loved every minute of it. And, we NEVER fought.
I also remember telling her, as we prepared to have children, we must always be aware that it is our special bond and relationship that is bringing them into the world. This beautiful, essential thing we have together must never become diminished in any way just because we are having kids.
So romantic, so idealistic, so… wrong.
Everything changes with kids.
Right. Well that pep talk went right out the window with a whack on the bottom of our beautiful firstborn daughter as she cried out in no uncertain terms that she had just arrived in our world. And things just went downhill from there.
Like most new parents, we had no idea on what to expect with this new bundle of joy (despite all the books we read). On top of all that refined cluelessness, our new daughter made things so much more interesting by being incessantly colicky.
She just would not stop crying unless one of us held and gently rocked her — like all the freak’n time. Just perfect for those come-hither glances I gave my wife when I was feeling frisky (which was all the time, too) only to have her return with the “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” stare.
One that included the oh-so subtle but supremely effective subtext of “You selfish bastard — how can you possibly be thinking about sex when our daughter is in distress!”
Watch: Ben Fordham talks about being a dad. (Post continues after video.)
I know, I was a complete idiot for even thinking about having sex during the day. The only problem was, the nights were worse.
You see, for the first 18 months, our daughter would not sleep unless she was in our bed – seriously. And by the time we figured out how to have her sleep quietly in her own crib, the cracks in our relationship already started to form.
Progeny 1, Relationship 0.
All it takes is a bit of unresolved wounding within your relationship that turns your little rug rats into intimacy-sucking black holes of 100 per cent focus on them. When your wife and mother of your children starts feeling separation from you, count on her putting most of her attention on the kids. It’s only natural, socially sanctioned and almost always the beginning death-knell of your intimate relationship.
When this happens, it is not unusual for the Dad to start feeling resentment toward the kids, for hogging all of the wife’s attention leaving almost none for him. And, if he’s foolish enough to even hint that his needs are not being met (emotional or physical), then his chances of being labelled the world’s biggest jerk just increased significantly.
Here’s the thing, when your kids become the primary (or in many cases, 100 per cent) focus of your relationship, it is in deep, deep trouble before you even realise it. (Post continues after gallery.)