July 02, 2015

Q: My husband and I haven't been getting along for quite some time. We are both miserable. We are living like roommates, not talking to each other about us. We stopped arguing—we just avoid each other. Any work that needs to be done for the kids, we do it together. Does this arrangement have any affect on my kids growing up? Should we separate since my kids are just a year old now and they may not have any idea of Mom and Dad together and raise them separately?

A: It's very common for couples with young children to struggle in their marriage. In fact, about three quarters of all married couples report decreased marital satisfaction when raising a newborn or very young child. It's a huge transition to go from a couple to parenthood and setbacks are to be expected. Don't give up too soon. It's great that you have stopped the fighting. Try to rekindle your romance by spending time as a couple. Institute date nights weekly and plan a quick getaway if you can. Reconnect sexually. Remind one another of why you fell in love. See a therapist together or individually. Learn to communicate with your spouse and hopefully you can both learn ways to improve your relationship. Living like roommates is not ideal for you or your children. Marriages take work and I hope yours improves with time and effort.

Answered by Dr. Eva Ritvo


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