Though no reason was given for the couple’s split, I can’t help but wonder if the past 7 months have something to do with it. There is no greater joy than becoming a parent, but there’s also no greater stress. Those newborns like to do things like stay up all night and cry for no apparent reason, making it hard on Mom and Dad to do anything but fight with each other.
My oldest is now 6, but his first year put an immense strain on me and on my marriage. I felt lonely, isolated and totally responsible for this new life. My husband has always been highly involved and tried his best to equally co-parent. But let’s face it, in the beginning all the baby wants is Mom. The stress and relentlessness of being new parents caused my husband and I to fight about things that never mattered before and criticize things in each other we’d previously encouraged.
While Akerman and her husband could have split for a whole host of other reasons, I can’t help but wonder if there should be some sort of waiting period in regards to new parents getting a divorce. No couple takes divorce lightly, but who’s really thinking clearly when they haven’t slept in three months and they’ve got stitches in their lady-business?
Dads aren’t at their best either. Pushed aside by this little baby, many new Dads feel like a third wheel in their own home. And while many men feel successful at work, they come home and can’t figure out how to change a diaper or can’t remember when to feed their own kid. It’s tough for the most in-love couples to stay connected at all. Who knows? Maybe after the baby is sleeping through the night and so are Mom and Dad, cooler heads will prevail and each person will remember why they fell in love in the first place.
In the first 12 months of my son’s life, I thought about getting a divorce about a dozen times. I don’t know if I really thought about it like I was going to do it, or just entertained the idea that my husband I would be better off apart. But I thought about it, which I’d never done before. I’m so glad I just thought about it and never did it. I can’t imagine my life without my partner. All we needed was a little bit of time and a lot more sleep.