My husband and i have been together for 11 years , since secondary school, we have a 9 year old son and a 3month old baby girl. Since i gave birth my husband treats me like his sister. He stop hugging me, kissing is none existence its like we are roommates. i don’t know what to do it hurts so bad because before the baby he use to be all over me now he laughs when i ask for a hug or a kiss because i know sex is out of the picture if he won’t even hug me anymore unless i beg him to. i shouldn’t have to!
It’s causing a real problem and I don’t know how to deal with it. What do I do?
With the arrival of children, changes typically occur in the quality of a couple’s relationship. Two changes in particular seem to be very important, the first being a change in the way that the new parents think of themselves and each other, and the other having to do with where they invest their energy and attention. Wonderful though they are, children (particularly babies) are very demanding creatures who require tremendous amounts of their parents attention. It is very normal for new parents to pretty much focus all of their attention and energy towards their babies. It is also normal for the new parents to start thinking of themselves as “mummy” or “daddy”, and defined in relationship to their children rather than to each other such as was likely the case prior to the arrival of children. These two changes can, in some cases, be deadly to a couple’s romance. If they are not understood and addressed the couple’s lovemaking and affectionate behavior can be negatively impacted.
Once the problem of reduced intimacy in the couples relationship gets started, it may remain in place even though some of the factors that got it started fall away over time. For instance, children may grow up and require less attention, but the loss of intimacy and the pattern of not having sex may continue.
The “cure” for this problem, if there can be said to be a cure, is for the partners to recognize what has happened to them, and to mutually decide to do something about it to repair their relationship. One way to think about it, drawn from the family systems psychotherapy approach is to view the problem as one of boundaries that have gotten out of alignment. In a healthy family, there should be a healthy boundary or line drawn around the parents representing that they have communication and relations amongst themselves which remain private from the other members of the family (such as the children). In your own case, however, the boundary around you and your husband has been stretched out of recognition and does not provide you with a private identity and private interchanges between you and him. The repair is to start working on building up that boundary around yourselves. This has to be done in part by excluding your children; finding ways that you and your husband can spend time with one another when children are not around and when you can focus on each other, as you once did.
It is important to recognize that some degree of “marital” dissatisfaction is normal among parents who are actively parenting. A couple’s happiness with one another usually is highest at the very beginning of their relationship, dipping sharply when children come into the picture, and then recovering as children leave the nest. I’m sure that things between you and your husband can be improved, but I also think it is important for you to recognize that some degree of relationship tension is a pretty normal occurrence when parenting.