A old friend of mine is going through a tough time. She has a 6-month-old. We had intended to get together for lunch. She called and canceled because her son had to have eye surgery for a condition that weakens the ocular muscle, but that's not the tough time part. The week after the surgery I checked in to see how he was doing and reschedule lunch. She seemed cold and blew me off. . . then a week later she emailed to apologize. . .
She said she was out of sorts because she found out her husband had been cheating on her since their son was a month old.
He said he wanted to try and work things out but he was in love with the mistress and if he were honest with himself he'd really want to be with the mistress. But he owed it to my friend and their son to try and make things work. . . then last week he walked out on them and is now living in a hotel.
This is not the first story that I've heard. Five years ago, my own sister had her husband walk out on her with a 2-year-old and a 1-month-old. Another person I know recently had her husband leave and then come back and they have a 1-year-old.
I know that pregnancy and the first year of having baby can be tough on a marriage, but come on. . . first, how do you have time to have an affair with a baby at home!? Yeah, suddenly becoming a father is overwhelming and all but what the hell!? I get it. The wife, who focused all her love on you, now has chosen to move her focus to this new little person. I totally get that, but why haven't you gotten in the game and starting loving him too?
I'm not saying that keeping your marriage alive isn't really important. God knows the last year and a half of pregnancy and babyhood hasn't been a picnic for my marriage either, but be a man and suck it up. The sex-crazed wife from married with children doesn't exist. Sure we all saw Al Bundy refuse the advances of his hot wife and thought "what an idiot, I'd totally hit that." You know what? She doesn't exist. If you're like most everyone else, you're going to be the one begging her.
Before we got pregnant and several times after my wife and I had a couple conversations. I told her "I don't care if we get to the point of not liking each other. I don't care if we start dating other people. I don't care if we don't want to stay married. We will remain married and fake it until our little dude is 18." That baby is a bigger commitment than those vows you took. Add to that a mortgage that you both own on and you're bound together for life. Even if you leave you're now saddled with an ex-wife, how shitty is that. You don't like how the marriage is fix it. You're stuck with her either way, might as well make it good.
Be an adult and do what's right. Sure, you're not getting as much sex as you did before, yes, it's hard to get away and have dinner much less a romantic weekend road trip, no, your life won't be the stuff of movies. . . look at that little face and tell me it's not worth every second of it.