Our mar­riage is suf­fer­ing now we have young kids

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - DEAR COLEEN -

Dear Coleen

I feel as if my hus­band isn’t at­tracted to me any more. We have a baby and a three-year-old, and our lives have been quite dif­fi­cult re­cently, cop­ing with be­reave­ment and other big life events. Now we’ve come out the other side, I as­sumed things would set­tle down, but we just gripe at each other all the time. I’m to­tally ex­hausted look­ing af­ter the kids and the house, and we just don’t spend any time do­ing fun things to­gether. Our baby doesn’t sleep and although we do talk about the sit­u­a­tion, things never seem to get any bet­ter and the next day we’re snap­ping at each other again. Un­for­tu­nately, we don’t have any fam­ily nearby to help to look af­ter the kids and they are both very at­tached to me, so wouldn’t go to a child­min­der. What else can we do to make life eas­ier and more en­joy­able? Or do I just have to ac­cept that this is what it’s like when you have a young fam­ily?

Coleen says

There’s no deny­ing that hav­ing a young fam­ily is hard work, but you can make it eas­ier on your­selves. One way of do­ing that is to have some down­time to­gether, re­con­nect as a cou­ple and feel rested and en­er­gised so you can go back and cope with look­ing af­ter two very young kids. When it comes to leav­ing them with a sit­ter or child­min­der, yes, the first cou­ple of times they’ll prob­a­bly scream the house down when you leave, but they’ll quickly get used to it when they re­alise mum’s com­ing back. It’s good to get them used to be­ing looked af­ter by other peo­ple oc­ca­sion­ally be­cause they’ll be away from you when they start school. Ob­vi­ously, it’s bet­ter for you if a rel­a­tive or friend can look af­ter the kids, but if your only op­tion is a baby-sit­ter, then you have to con­sider it for the well­be­ing of the whole fam­ily. You also men­tion be­reave­ment and other lifechang­ing events – have you had help deal­ing with those things? Per­haps coun­selling might help. Try vis­it­ing cruse. org.uk. While it’s great that you and your hus­band can talk, you have to act on it. Why not take the first step and visit your fam­ily, leave the kids for a night and stay some­where nearby so you’re close at hand? Good luck.

I’m ex­hausted and we gripe all the time

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