Hey Melmc, I think you are VERY wise to be asking these questions, and even wiser to not view having children as a "bandaid" or a diversion from current problems.
Again, since we're all being honest here, I'm going to admit something that will probably sound horrible. You see, DH and I had been engaged for a year, planning to get married a year later, when I got preggo with DS. Not a huge deal, we're getting married anyway, right.. in fact, most of the nuts and bolts planning was already done, so we simply moved up the wedding.
Now, a few years later, we have a gorgeous son who we both adore. But I sense that a large part of my husband's unhappiness is that during those times when I'm at work/school, he's not only ALONE, he's alone with our little one. This is really difficult for him, he has a fairly short fuse, and I think it goes against his "gender role definition" in a big way.Also, it gives him several other things to guilt trip me about. Like right now, for instance: I'm at school for a meeting on my day off and took a lot of heat from him for having to pay for a sitter. Don't get me wrong, we're both so glad we've got the little guy, and there are many other facets to our issues. But let's be honest.. that's one of them.
As far as whether your relationship will ever be ready for kids, I'd take a look at what the real issues are based on your personal tendencies and the workings of your relationship, rather than your current situation. We all know medicine can be hard on even the most saint-like spouse, but oftentimes people are able to view the "light at the end of the tunnel.." whether it be after graduation, residency, etc. Also, ask yourself what about medicine is particularly tough for your DH. Does he just plain miss you when you're not around? Hey, that can be a good thing! Or does he disapprove of your involvement in your career and acts up just on principle..? If you ask yourself some of these questions, you might be able to visualize whether you'll have the same type of problems in years to come. Hope this was a little bit helpful!
I wonder if you could pursue the question of having a children with a counselor. It is a very important question that you are asking, as it is said one really shouldn't bring children into a struggling relationship.
Also don't underestimate the value of a trial separation - if the relationship is meant to work, they will miss each other!
What I learned from my own situation is that babies greatly magnify any underlying/lurking stresses in the marriage.
I think that you Melmc and BabyHeartz are speaking wisely in analyzing the workings of the relationship. It is so tempting to view things in a more traditional or sentimental way, (we want our marriage to work) rather than in an analytical way - do our personalities, defenses, emotional strategies work together in a way that validates each of us so that we are each strong to make the relationship strong.
I denied the marital issue. I blamed things on myself, my thinking being that I had depression and needed my husbands support as long as i was struggling with a problem. It wasn't until the lightbulb went off, as I mentioned in last post, that things were linked to the marriage that the degree of difficulty in the relationship became clear. And it happened with a bout of postpartum depression with my 3rd child. I had a wooden head.
I don't know if there is always a light at the end of tunnel. Even a medical career is trying, and loaded wtih frustrations. Certainly, hopefully, there is no more in-house call, and there may be the option to work parttime.
What I read in an article referenced earlier in this thread, is that some physicians ignore the problems in the marriage by working a lot - there is always a reason to work frequent and long hours becuase there is always more and intense medical work to keep up with. But it isn't until years into a dead marriage that the couple realizes that the problems in the relationship aren't due to work at all. this is most typical of male professionals.
In my case, I think the long work hours probably kept my marriage and my denial going for so long.
I think it is so important be honest, as I am reading here, because that is what things boil down to over the years when one is stretched thin between work and family. Are your needs being met?
if you don't mind my asking, did your depression resolve when you split up? I also keep using depression as one of the reasons I'm not happy and that if I were able to get a handle on that, maybe I would behappy, without him changing at all. I have to say, just on observing other marriages among my patients, I often observe couples that I would think would be unhappy,often because of the way the husband acts even in my presence, yet they are apparently very happy. On the other hand I do see quite a lot of unhappy couples who stick it out for the children as well. It's so hard to know what it would all look like from a 30-40 yr view.
On the children question: I would say absolutely do not have children unless/until you are happy and fully committed in your marriage. It will only make it much worse due to the stresses of child-rearing and thenyou will feelyou are hurting an innocent baby. Counseling is a great idea.
yes, it has been sadly (!) surprising that my depression is better. a little better with the nesting, where we were switching off while the kids stayed at the house, and now a lot better that we have each own home, since august.
I don't want it to be this way, but it is.
and I still have work to do on my own that has nothing to do with the marriage.
I think there are a lot of various formulas that can result in a marriage that works. maybe that is the bottom line, with the 2, with their various individual idiosyncracies, does the relationship work or doesn't it??
Hoping no one will mind my beating this old horse to death....
I'd really like some input on our latest spat. I'm feeling guilty and not sure if it's legit or if I'm just chronically guilty!
One of our main conflicts is that DH is a homebody who doesn't really value same-sex friendships and hates ( I mean HATES) to go places in general. But this week, after a lot of cajoling, he agreed to go to a concert with me. Despite his general grumpiness and outright denial, I'm pretty sure he had a good time. However he continued to talk about how I "really owe him one" for doing this.
Fast forward to a few days later. It's a co-worker's birthday, and she's getting a bunch of the girls together for drinks. Since I'm still in the "young-to-be-married" category, I feel that I have pretty minimal interaction with peers outside of work, and haven't made a lot of friends since I've been married (also having moved to a new area.) So, I happily agree to go. I call DH and explain my plans, invite him along and suggest that he call a sitter for DS since he was already home with him. (He refused, but I decided to go anyway.) I ended up being out extremely late due to traffic and downpouring rain. I felt badly, but reminded myself that the last time I just hung out with a bunch of girlfriends was literally months ago. Well, now DH is so extremely mad, I'm not sure what to do. He's saying things like "getting married was a huge mistake" and "the one thing I had to look forward to all day was you getting home, and YOU took it away...this is how you repay me (for going to the concert...)" (Contradictory, much?) He very calmly asked me how much I thought it would cost to get a divorce this morning. Yeowch!
Now granted, perhaps this wasn't the smoothest move on my part. But what he's counting as his "LAST STRAW" is probably what I'd consider to be one of the FEW truly wrong things I've done on his laundry list. (Others consist of being tied up at the hospital due to a code, having to study on a day off, etc.)
I just have such difficulty establishing what IS truly a "wrong move" in our relationship, because he is so needy and so often angry. Sometimes (like yesterday) I think, "oh screw it, he's going to be unhappy regardless, I might as well just do what I please."
I know, I'm ranting.. again! And I apologize for that. You have all been so wonderful. I'd love some input on whether it really was/is so wrong of me to want to spend time with friends now and then as a married woman with a child. And as always, I'd love some general advice/overview/input as well!
What is it with men not wanting their significant others to go out with friends? I could have told this story myself, minus the husband being extremely mad thing...but he expressed his unhappiness and tried to get me to stay home when I told him I was going to visit a friend 3 hours away for her bday and spend the night. I think it might be a number of things, sometimes trust issues, I realized that I had told him some stories in the past of going out with these same friends and he didnt feel comfortable with the decisions that we made, but this was BEFORE we met...so I think he was afraid that since I was going out with those same people, the same kind of stuff would happen (ie harmless flirting, probably drinking a little too much); Also, your husband could be jealous that the little time you have together you spend visiting friends (even if it IS the first time in a year).
I will never understand why some men are this way....I have always encouraged mine to go out, have a good time and come home at a reasonable hour. Not too much to ask.. But when we want the chance to do the same, it seems to be a problem. Its harder that your husband doesnt have any good guys friends that he would want to go out with, because I am sure his thinking is:"well, I don't go out with friends...so why does she need to?" maybe something like that? But I find it odd that he hates to go places in general. Everyone needs to get out and have fun, whether it be a museum, a bar, a book store, etc.
I think that in relationships sometimes the culpability doesn't always fall in one place. Maybe it wasn't the best thing that you went out on such short notice, only having time to let him know over the phone. He probably was looking forward to seeing you (whether it be to hug you or complain) but..since this is a marriage, he should not react with so much anger. He should be understanding of the fact that you wanted to hang out with some coworkers! No big deal... Its always hard making plans with friends because people without kids can do anything on short notice, but people with kids cant. However, it is manipulative to get so angry as to threaten divorce because you went out with a few coworkers. Ultimately, it may not have been the best decision on your part, but his reaction is completely uncalled for! So, in the future, make plans ahead of time with your friends because then your husband has no grounds to be upset when you go out.
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -H. Thurman