Hi Achokis. My husband and I welcomed our first child three years ago after having a miscarriage. We both love and adore her.
However, she is still sleeping on our bed and I can’t let her go because I don’t want to wake up in the night to go to her room to breastfeed or change diapers.
Of late, my husband has complained that I have denied him sex and this has affected me because he should be the one person who should understand that our baby is still young and waking up in the night affects my sleep and later, work.
After all, the child sleeps on my side of the bed. Is my husband’s complaint valid?
Hi Agatha. Your husband’s complaint is valid even though you may feel otherwise. With the birth of your baby, her presence in your bed has definitely affected your sex life.
Your husband is feeling the weight of it more than you for two reasons.
First, having waited for you to give birth and heal, he must have been starved of sex. When he thought it was finally over now this other problem occurs.
Secondly, the fact that now all the attention is being given to the child and not him, he may be feeling neglected and left out. This, of course is frustrating and thus the complaint.
Hear each other out
On the other hand, it is also difficult for you and he also needs to try and understand you. You are not just refusing to give him sex, there are things you are also dealing with— fatigue and lack of sleep being top of the list.
The miscarriage you had could also have left you traumatised, no wonder you’re insisting that the child sleep on your bed, which is causing the problem.
If you approach from a right or wrong perspective, you will only be building bricks to finish the other person. You both need to hear each other out, try to understand where each is coming from, and validate each other’s feelings.
That way, you can both discuss and co-create solutions that will take care of each other’s concerns.
You may for example agree to start off by moving her to her own bed in your room, before eventually going to her own room. This will not be easy because the child might also have separation anxiety and so would you.
If your trauma is standing in the way, you can go for therapy to help you overcome it. You can also discuss with your hubby how he can help you lighten the burden so you are not so fatigued.
You can agree with him to take turns checking on the baby at night to allow you to have some sleep. If you are well rested and have enough sleep you will be available to him sexually.
That way, you will have come up with a win-win solution that works for both of you.
The writers are marriage and relationship coaches