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Old 12-16-2015, 07:00 PM   #81
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Kids can handle divorce and all the other obstacles thrown their way, but it makes life more difficult for them. If anyone thinks that kids from a single parent household have as much of a chance to succeed as a kid from a stable household, they are dreaming.

Life is difficult for everyone. It sure as hell is difficult to live with parents who hate each other but refuse to get a divorce. And I know plenty of people from single parent homes who are doing just fine for themselves, thank you. Not to mention that divorce doesn't mean the kids will have single parent households. Both parents could go on to marry the loves of their lives and the kids will end up with two pairs of adoring parents. Happens all the time. And you brag quite often about your success, so I don't know why you feel other children of divorce would have it so hard. As if being a foster kid is a guarantee of a life of ease and success! SMH.

Senator doesn't normally come across as a troll; can we check to see if he's been hacked?


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Old 12-16-2015, 07:05 PM   #82
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Senator doesn't normally come across as a troll; can we check to see if he's been hacked?
Haven't been hacked, but the OP after only 6 years or marriage wanting a divorce seem a bit to soon. And yet, he wanted kids right away. The problems should have been seen before he (or she) had the kids. It's one of my pet peeves, people that have kids and do not take responsibility for them, or pay for them.

It's like getting a new puppy and throwing it in the trash because it barks too much.
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:14 PM   #83
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Haven't been hacked, but the OP after only 6 years or marriage wanting a divorce seem a bit to soon. And yet, he wanted kids right away. The problems should have been seen before he (or she) had the kids. It's one of my pet peeves, people that have kids and do not take responsibility for them, or pay for them.

It's like getting a new puppy and throwing it in the trash because it barks too much.

Let's introduce some facts into this.
1) OP has been married 6 years, yes. But he has been with his wife since they were 16, 12 years ago. The only adult relationship either has had is with each other.
2) the average American divorces after 8 years, so he's not far in advance since the actual divorce would take awhile even if he filed paperwork today (depending on where he lives). http://www.economist.com/blogs/graph...daily-chart-10
3) the oldest kid is 2. That doesn't strike me as "right away" in a 6 year marriage, 12 year relationship.
4) as SOOO many people have pointed out, this may be a postpartum issue. Can't see that before the kids arrive. Literally cannot see that before the kids.
5) at what point has OP in any way indicated he doesn't want to take responsibility for his kids or pay for them??



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Old 12-16-2015, 07:51 PM   #84
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Give the OP a chance. He is a long way from marital disaster. Every marriage has had its bump; but like anything else, if you don't give up too soon, you can find solutions to the problems.

When people work hard at their place of employment, they are determined to find solutions to a technical problem or a budgetary problem. Why can't we put the same dogged effort into rebuilding our marriages. The Senator offered a possibility that too many have opted to take and many children have suffered because of it. Yes, sometimes positive things come out of it in spite of the circumstances.

But the OP is a long way from that unfortunate choice. He is young and he's up against something he's never experienced, i.e. very stressful job, very young children and a discontented wife (sounds like the "perfect storm"). He's not talking about an abusive relationship, a drunk spouse, or a cheating partner.

So, you're here in your situation with two kids. You made it with your mate. Take the easy path to divorce land or choice the road less traveled where some of us have taken and we're glad to have taken in hindsight.

I thought I saw statistics that 2nd marriages were not as satisfied as 1st and 3rd were less satisfied than 2nd. Better off learning to tend your own lawn.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:55 PM   #85
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OP, I need to tell you a cautionary tale about burnout.
I used to work for a large, multinational organization and one of our executives was a photogenic, upwardly mobile guy in his 30s with prestigious academic credentials, a beautiful wife and a 2-year old daughter. The pace was brutal- obviously not shift work, but lots of travel across multiple time zones with breakfast meetings, lunch meetings, dinner meetings, drinks afterwards, then back to the hotel room to deal with piles of e-mail. The e-mail never stopped, of course- it was always working hours in SOME time zone.
After one too many conferences he came home and on a Sunday morning he beat his little girl to death because the voices in his head told him she was possessed by demons. He wasn’t a bad guy but his life was ruined. He got away with confinement in an institution and counseling and his wife even took him back (last I heard) but his little girl is gone for good.
That’s what burnout can do to you. Take care of yourself first. You have to.
Obviously I don't know all of the facts of that said tale; but I strongly suspect the man involved had very serious longstanding psychological issues, and that "too many conferences" had little if anything to do with his homicidal episode.

Vast numbers of businesspeople cope - often reluctantly, but more or less successfully - with long hours, overwork, extensive travel, etc. How many reach the point where they commit murder?!

The OP may well feel exhausted and overwhelmed, and I agree with the several forum members who've recommended that he examine whether he really wants to continue with shift work / ATC. However, any suggestion that if he doesn't make changes he'll be at risk of killing family members is just way over the top.
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:52 AM   #86
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I had to register to respond to your post... been there, done that! We are a few years ahead (youngest is 5 now) and life looks a lot different.

I have a similar story to yours (got married young, had kids in quick succession, super introvert, husband has stressful job) except I am the stay-at-home mom. When we had our first, it was overwhelming to me to realize that I would NEVER be alone again. Not only would I not be alone, I was stuck with an irrational, screaming baby. It sounds like your wife is struggling with PPD, and I believe you said she is stubborn, so she is unlikely to seek help. I too (also stubborn) struggled with PPD and refused to admit it. We struggled for several years because we had 3 instead of 2 kids, and third one was a terrible baby who made life even more difficult.

Now that he is 5, we are finally starting to enjoy life again. I get to be alone for significant periods of time! We are able to sleep through the night. We can even tell them to amuse themselves in the morning, so we can sleep in. I think the 0-4 stage is god awful for introverted parents. Focus on survival for now. If your wife won't go to counseling, you go. Talking to someone without a vested interest is so helpful (get someone who has kids and has been there!). Do whatever you can to help your wife with the transition. Figure out what is really bothering her. Is it the isolation? The sheer amount of work that two kids under 2 takes? Is it feeling distant from you? She may not even know what it is.

Once you know what is really bothering her, do ANYTHING you can to help her. If she needs a girls' night out, babysit. If she needs help cooking, bring dinner home (which was one of the best suggestions in this thread!). If she needs help during the day, get a babysitter two mornings a week. Don't just tell her how much you appreciate it, show her. It will mean a lot to her.

Kids put an enormous amount of pressure on a marriage in the early years (and I'm sure in the teenage years too - we are just not there yet). Survive the next two years before you make any decisions about the marriage. Once you get some emotional space when the kids are a little more independent, start working on your real issues in the marriage. My husband and I definitely still have issues, but at least now, I have a clear head to tackle them. Don't do anything rash while you have infants and toddlers. Your wife will probably mellow a bit as the kids get older. Right now, she lives in a constant fight-or-flight stage. Try to be the best husband/father you can until the little one is 2 or 3, then seriously tackle your longer-term issues with your wife and make a more rational decision about the marriage.

I don't know anyone (who actually remembers what it was like) who would say the best years of their marriage were when their children were babies and toddlers. You're not alone! Hang in there. It does get better.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:23 AM   #87
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I had to register to respond to your post... been there, done that! We are a few years ahead (youngest is 5 now) and life looks a lot different.

I have a similar story to yours (got married young, had kids in quick succession, super introvert, husband has stressful job) except I am the stay-at-home mom. When we had our first, it was overwhelming to me to realize that I would NEVER be alone again. Not only would I not be alone, I was stuck with an irrational, screaming baby. It sounds like your wife is struggling with PPD, and I believe you said she is stubborn, so she is unlikely to seek help. I too (also stubborn) struggled with PPD and refused to admit it. We struggled for several years because we had 3 instead of 2 kids, and third one was a terrible baby who made life even more difficult.

Now that he is 5, we are finally starting to enjoy life again. I get to be alone for significant periods of time! We are able to sleep through the night. We can even tell them to amuse themselves in the morning, so we can sleep in. I think the 0-4 stage is god awful for introverted parents. Focus on survival for now. If your wife won't go to counseling, you go. Talking to someone without a vested interest is so helpful (get someone who has kids and has been there!). Do whatever you can to help your wife with the transition. Figure out what is really bothering her. Is it the isolation? The sheer amount of work that two kids under 2 takes? Is it feeling distant from you? She may not even know what it is.

Once you know what is really bothering her, do ANYTHING you can to help her. If she needs a girls' night out, babysit. If she needs help cooking, bring dinner home (which was one of the best suggestions in this thread!). If she needs help during the day, get a babysitter two mornings a week. Don't just tell her how much you appreciate it, show her. It will mean a lot to her.

Kids put an enormous amount of pressure on a marriage in the early years (and I'm sure in the teenage years too - we are just not there yet). Survive the next two years before you make any decisions about the marriage. Once you get some emotional space when the kids are a little more independent, start working on your real issues in the marriage. My husband and I definitely still have issues, but at least now, I have a clear head to tackle them. Don't do anything rash while you have infants and toddlers. Your wife will probably mellow a bit as the kids get older. Right now, she lives in a constant fight-or-flight stage. Try to be the best husband/father you can until the little one is 2 or 3, then seriously tackle your longer-term issues with your wife and make a more rational decision about the marriage.

I don't know anyone (who actually remembers what it was like) who would say the best years of their marriage were when their children were babies and toddlers. You're not alone! Hang in there. It does get better.
A very helpful and experienced post! I am glad that your pathway has smoothed out,

Ha
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:34 AM   #88
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OMG, samclem, you just described how rotating shift work affected me (and I did a lot of it). Mild but definite depression, and a slight loss of color vision acuity (which I attributed to spending all my time either sitting in a dimly lit space full of glowing screens, or trying to sleep). Trying to exercise felt like pushing through jello.

After coming off long periods of rotating shifts/extended hours/weird hours, it would take me up to 2 months to feel "back to normal," even in my 30's.

Yes, I feel for the OP, whose judgment may not be the same as it would be if he had a different kind of job.

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FWIW, I had several jobs with a lot of very long hours and stress. ... Acute sleep deprivation resulted in feelings of pessimism. My color vision would also wash out a bit--everything slightly "overexposed"--weird, huh? Two solid nights of sleep would fix things--and once I realized this it was easy to recognize that it was happening, and made the feelings of pessimism/gloom very manageable ("Oh--I need some shuteye and this will all seem a lot better"). Now, your own symptoms might be a lot different, but you sound like I would sound if I were sleep deprived. Maybe there's no easy way to fix that, but I'd look for some relief if in your boots.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:52 AM   #89
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Haven't been hacked, but the OP after only 6 years or marriage wanting a divorce seem a bit to soon. And yet, he wanted kids right away. The problems should have been seen before he (or she) had the kids. It's one of my pet peeves, people that have kids and do not take responsibility for them, or pay for them.

It's like getting a new puppy and throwing it in the trash because it barks too much.
OP sounds like he loves his kids dearly. Getting a divorce doesnt mean how wont take responsibility for them or pay for them. It appears thats what happened to you and thats horrible, but its not the case for everyone.

In my case, I also went to about 8 different schools in 8 different cities in 6 different states when I was a kid. I never stayed long enough to make friends. And my parents were married the whole time.

Divorcing and giving up your kids for adoption (like you suggested) is more like throwing a puppy in the trash than anything else that anyone has suggested.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:00 AM   #90
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rainyday1,

I agree with Ha. Very helpful post coming from someone who has had similar experience, but from the wife's side. Welcome to the forum. I am glad you posted.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:45 AM   #91
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I don't know anyone (who actually remembers what it was like) who would say the best years of their marriage were when their children were babies and toddlers. You're not alone! Hang in there. It does get better.
Bravo rainyday1 for writing so poignantly and that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Babies and toddlers are pretty awesome to grandparents however. I did enjoy, for the most part, my time with my 2 and 7 years old this summer.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:49 AM   #92
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Looking for advice. I daydream about divorce. Literally. My wife and I are going through a bit of a rough patch but it is more than that. I think I genuinely enjoy being alone. I am very introverted by nature, she is not. We have been together since age 16 (28 now, married since 22). We have never really experienced life without each other and I'm starting to think that was a big mistake.

Now we do have 2 very little kids. She stays home with them, and I let her know constantly how much I appreciate the hardwork that it takes for her to do that, however it is also her choice as I've told her if she wants to work I support her fully. The moment I get home I am fully in the mix and have no problem with that. I don't expect to come home and watch TV. I take the kids, feed them, baths, get them ready for bed, help with household chores. Lately she is so resentful that I go to work and it has caused tension with us. I am supposed to feel bad for supporting the family with the only income?? My job is air traffic control and also is very stressful and I feel I get no return of appreciation for busting my a$$ everyday with the stress and shiftwork. Every week I work night and day shifts which often leaves little time to sleep. I absolutely love my children and spending time with them and teaching them and being their father. However, I realize when she is NOT around (grocery store or something) I love it 10x more. There is less stress. I don't feel her eyes watching/judging me.

To clarify, with 2 little kids I DO NOT expect to come home and vegetate. I expect to come home and help, which I do fully! My problem is I know these kids won't be little forever, and eventually it will be just her and I again. Our life together before having kids, I never felt like I could relax. If I try to take a nap, she is upset. I am lazy. If I just want to watch a show, not go to another farmer market, it is a fight because I am lazy. I feel like down the road in retirement, I don't want the stress of living with anyone.

I daydream about retirement and being able to do whatever I want (that is the goal right?). After a career of inconsistent sleep and constant stress I'd like to stay up as late and lseep as late as I want. But in the back of my mind I know that won't be the case. I will be doing whatever it is she wants or plans for us to do each day. I also don't want to be a person who avoids going home or HAS to find some hobby outside of the house to avoid my wife. If I want to sleep until noon, I want to be able to do it guilt-free!

So here is the dilema. I have a great federal career where I can retire early with a good pension and good amount of retirement savings. Do I cut the cord early to minimize the bleeding on my retirement? She would likely only get half of my current earned pension and half of my current retirement savings. OR Do I wait until we are retired or almost retired to see if my predictions come true, which at that point a divorce would completely derail the type of retirement I want. The first sounds like a no-brainer but it breaks my heart for my kids sake and I'm scared to death about not being able to see them all the time.

In my dream world there is only my kids and I. I know she will never be out of the picture as she is their mother, but is this any way to live the rest of my life? Dreading coming home to her? I'm very confused.
First, realize that what you describe might be her post pardom and not able to express herself to you.

I'm divorced, and my ex never recovered mentally from issues related to giving birth and the depression which followed.

Tread carefully
You are friends with your wife, focus on the friendship first, and then see what happens with the marriage- she may need a friend more than you realize.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:52 AM   #93
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My advise is for you personally and it's not about divorce. I suggest you get in contact with the VA and get screened for PTSD, now likely you will say you can't do that because of the nature of your job.
The very fact that you are talking about imploding your marriage and your number one problem with it is the money aspect of your early retirement is a bit bizarre.

I went back and read of few of your postings, in August of 13 you say you are completely burnt out and exhausted. You say you had to move away from family years ago for the military. In October of 13 you say your wife is pregnant with your first child and 2 years later you have 2 children. You mentioned recently you will be moving shortly or have just moved again to be near family. You have started a high stress career full of shift work. This is a recipe for problems at home.

Your comment that it's okay with you if your wife gets a job, it almost laughable. She cares for 2 children under the age of 2 and you have to do shift work.How would you work out the child care schedule, who would do the housework. Does your wife get to leave the house to do anything besides "grocery shopping". Does she get to have regular contact with any grownups besides you, who are resentful of everything she says and wants to do. So resentful that you think it would just be easier to divorce her so she doesn't bug you.

As far a watching TV or napping maybe your wife is just lonely for adult company and it's not all about "controlling" you.

The fact that you are 28 years old with 2 kids under the age of 2 and daydreaming about retirement is a big red flag that you yourself are having some type of issue. It's one thing to live prudently and think about the day you might be able to leave your job, it another thing to daydream about it when you have just brought 2 children into the world. You haven't mentioned one thing about your wife and what the 2 of you might do to ease the situation, in fact you just said when the kids are gone she'll still be a Bi#$h and maybe you will dump her then. If your kids are your number 1 priority start working as a couple to figure this out. Maybe ATC is your dream job but if the stress of it is wrecking your family there are other jobs out in the world.

You know my Dad was military for 20 years and my Mom was from England, so I lived thru a situation much like yours. My Dad did not like the Army and was either grumpy, watching TV or sleeping when he was at home. Now I realize he was depressed but back then all it did was impact the entire family in a negative way.
+1
I might add, consider a cleaning service so less time is spent on mindless chores, and realize the problem might be her, it might be you, it might be BOTH, so I suggest some personal discovery for both of you.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:02 AM   #94
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I had to register to respond to your post... been there, done that! We are a few years ahead (youngest is 5 now) and life looks a lot different.

I have a similar story to yours (got married young, had kids in quick succession, super introvert, husband has stressful job) except I am the stay-at-home mom. When we had our first, it was overwhelming to me to realize that I would NEVER be alone again. Not only would I not be alone, I was stuck with an irrational, screaming baby. It sounds like your wife is struggling with PPD, and I believe you said she is stubborn, so she is unlikely to seek help. I too (also stubborn) struggled with PPD and refused to admit it. We struggled for several years because we had 3 instead of 2 kids, and third one was a terrible baby who made life even more difficult.

Now that he is 5, we are finally starting to enjoy life again. I get to be alone for significant periods of time! We are able to sleep through the night. We can even tell them to amuse themselves in the morning, so we can sleep in. I think the 0-4 stage is god awful for introverted parents. Focus on survival for now. If your wife won't go to counseling, you go. Talking to someone without a vested interest is so helpful (get someone who has kids and has been there!). Do whatever you can to help your wife with the transition. Figure out what is really bothering her. Is it the isolation? The sheer amount of work that two kids under 2 takes? Is it feeling distant from you? She may not even know what it is.

Once you know what is really bothering her, do ANYTHING you can to help her. If she needs a girls' night out, babysit. If she needs help cooking, bring dinner home (which was one of the best suggestions in this thread!). If she needs help during the day, get a babysitter two mornings a week. Don't just tell her how much you appreciate it, show her. It will mean a lot to her.

Kids put an enormous amount of pressure on a marriage in the early years (and I'm sure in the teenage years too - we are just not there yet). Survive the next two years before you make any decisions about the marriage. Once you get some emotional space when the kids are a little more independent, start working on your real issues in the marriage. My husband and I definitely still have issues, but at least now, I have a clear head to tackle them. Don't do anything rash while you have infants and toddlers. Your wife will probably mellow a bit as the kids get older. Right now, she lives in a constant fight-or-flight stage. Try to be the best husband/father you can until the little one is 2 or 3, then seriously tackle your longer-term issues with your wife and make a more rational decision about the marriage.

I don't know anyone (who actually remembers what it was like) who would say the best years of their marriage were when their children were babies and toddlers. You're not alone! Hang in there. It does get better.
Great advice here, outsourcing tasks like dinner, daycare, cleaning are things I have done post divorce which have helped every relationship I have been in... wish I discovered that sooner. It's worth a delayed retirement to enjoy life more now.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:38 PM   #95
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Kids put an enormous amount of pressure on a marriage in the early years I don't know anyone (who actually remembers what it was like) who would say the best years of their marriage were when their children were babies and toddlers.
Indeed! It's amazing why so many couples voluntarily put their marriages through this.

This article discusses the issue, and recommends a couple of programs that have been developed to deal with it; OP, perhaps worth looking into?
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:12 PM   #96
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Indeed! It's amazing why so many couples voluntarily put their marriages through this.

'Cause babies are so darned cute. And let me tell you about my granddaughter, whom I get to hug again on Sunday!

Seriously- there are many valid reasons for deciding kids are too much work/money. Now I look back on all my commutes to the babysitter (15 minutes in the wrong direction from work), then a full day at the office, then repeat at the end of the day, and wonder how I survived it, but being a mother and a grandmother has been a wonderful part of who I am.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:58 PM   #97
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I had to register to respond to your post... been there, done that! We are a few years ahead (youngest is 5 now) and life looks a lot different.

I have a similar story to yours (got married young, had kids in quick succession, super introvert, husband has stressful job) except I am the stay-at-home mom. When we had our first, it was overwhelming to me to realize that I would NEVER be alone again. Not only would I not be alone, I was stuck with an irrational, screaming baby. It sounds like your wife is struggling with PPD, and I believe you said she is stubborn, so she is unlikely to seek help. I too (also stubborn) struggled with PPD and refused to admit it. We struggled for several years because we had 3 instead of 2 kids, and third one was a terrible baby who made life even more difficult.

Now that he is 5, we are finally starting to enjoy life again. I get to be alone for significant periods of time! We are able to sleep through the night. We can even tell them to amuse themselves in the morning, so we can sleep in. I think the 0-4 stage is god awful for introverted parents. Focus on survival for now. If your wife won't go to counseling, you go. Talking to someone without a vested interest is so helpful (get someone who has kids and has been there!). Do whatever you can to help your wife with the transition. Figure out what is really bothering her. Is it the isolation? The sheer amount of work that two kids under 2 takes? Is it feeling distant from you? She may not even know what it is.

Once you know what is really bothering her, do ANYTHING you can to help her. If she needs a girls' night out, babysit. If she needs help cooking, bring dinner home (which was one of the best suggestions in this thread!). If she needs help during the day, get a babysitter two mornings a week. Don't just tell her how much you appreciate it, show her. It will mean a lot to her.

Kids put an enormous amount of pressure on a marriage in the early years (and I'm sure in the teenage years too - we are just not there yet). Survive the next two years before you make any decisions about the marriage. Once you get some emotional space when the kids are a little more independent, start working on your real issues in the marriage. My husband and I definitely still have issues, but at least now, I have a clear head to tackle them. Don't do anything rash while you have infants and toddlers. Your wife will probably mellow a bit as the kids get older. Right now, she lives in a constant fight-or-flight stage. Try to be the best husband/father you can until the little one is 2 or 3, then seriously tackle your longer-term issues with your wife and make a more rational decision about the marriage.

I don't know anyone (who actually remembers what it was like) who would say the best years of their marriage were when their children were babies and toddlers. You're not alone! Hang in there. It does get better.
Very good advice. I don't think anyone who hasn't had a couple of small children has no idea how difficult it can be. My oldest will be five in April and my youngest will be two in January.

I was stunned at how much more difficult it is to have two small children as opposed to one. When you have one small child, it is relatively easy to have one parent leave and get a break. You can take turns. With two, it starts being extremely stressful for that parent left alone with the kids. Sleep becomes extraordinarily difficult to get for everyone. The toddler and the baby seem to take turns waking everyone up.

You'll be in a lot better shape to deal with the long-term issues in 2-3 years when everyone is getting enough sleep (fingers crossed) and the kids can entertain themselves some of the time.

Things have gotten a lot better over the last six months for my wife and me. We are getting enough sleep most of the time (although we had a rough couple of weeks recently due to a nasty cough that everyone caught and the little one had trouble shaking).
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:37 PM   #98
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I wish it was socially acceptable for society to be open and honest about how miserable parenthood can be. Instead of persisting this myth about it being "the greatest thing you can do," and what a constant joy it is. Young couples need to hear the truth. Parents owe it to their kids to tell them it's an irreversible decision that will strain your marriage and even your sanity, unrelentingly, for many years.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:44 PM   #99
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I wish it was socially acceptable for society to be open and honest about how miserable parenthood can be. Instead of persisting this myth about it being "the greatest thing you can do," and what a constant joy it is. Young couples need to hear the truth. Parents owe it to their kids to tell them it's an irreversible decision that will strain your marriage and even your sanity, unrelentingly, for many years.

I think I'd change the word miserable to challenging, most things that bring lifetime love and commitment are not a walk in the park. Marriage is another challenging one as well.
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:21 PM   #100
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I wish it was socially acceptable for society to be open and honest about how miserable parenthood can be. Instead of persisting this myth about it being "the greatest thing you can do," and what a constant joy it is.
One of the neighbors (mother of four boys) had a quote that my mother thought was right on the mark: "The Lord made 'em cute so you wouldn't drown them".

I must have been really cute. When I think back on the things I did to deserve drowning....
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