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A frustrated dad says having children has ‘ruined’ his marriage and he feels like he’s missing the best years of his life.

The broken father wants to know how he can stop feeling like he should never have had kids with his wife.

“I love both my sons and would do anything for them, it these last 2.5 years have been hell,” he explained on reddit.

“My wife and I fight a lot, our sex life is abysmal, and I resent her for pushing us to have kids.”

He reveals that having kids was just ticking another box, and now he feels like he’s missing out.

“I was never 100% about it but I felt like it was what I was supposed to do, get married, buy a house, have kids, etc. Now looking back, I never should have had kids with her, I feel like I am missing my best years on bottles and diaper changes, and lost sleep. What can I do to fix this?”

The father of two stressed he doesn’t regret his kids, but regrets what the relationship with his wife has become. He also admitted that his wife wants four children, but the two they have are already pushed them to breaking point. “Four would ruin us,” he said.

‘Don’t take it out on the kids’

His honest cry for help was met with hundreds of comments and plenty of advice from other parents, many who’ve felt the same way at some point.

“Whatever you do don’t take it out on the kids,” responded one commenter. “I don’t think my dad wanted to be a dad but my mum wanted kids. As a result he took it out on me, mostly (I have two younger siblings), and I’m working through a lot in therapy. It really sucks and there’s a lot of pain.”

Others offered a glimmer of hope – that as children get older, it does get easier.

“Agree that it gets better,” offered one dad. “My boy is five and my life is completely and unquestionably enriched by his presence, and when he goes back to his mums, it feels like my life is back to black and white, so I just work.”

“Yes, age makes a HUGE difference,” said a mum. “I’m a single mum of kids three and five, and my life gets infinitely easier the more independent they get. And I can have fun with them on a different level as they get older.”

Do you have any advice for this broken dad? Let us know in the comments.

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  • I feel like resentment can cause so much more drama and more issues for the relationship. I would suggest counselling and communication, starting something that means time with just your wife like a date night that is regular and can give you back that time and spark.
    I totally understand the feeling of despair when you lose the parts of yourself and relationship to parenting but each section is a phase and hard work is rewarded. I love having kids and want more, but my husband is a little like this scenario and I have to respect him and our relationship.

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  • It’s great that you’re being honest and not just holding it in. I hope you are able to get things worked out but if you do, don’t take it out on your children. As they get older you’ll be so happy you had them.

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  • That would have taken a lot of courage from him to voice that opinion. Him and his wife do really need to get some councelling to help them with their marriage. They both really need to look at why are they having kids and have a proper conversation about the potential for more children. I agree with a lot of people saying make sure you don’t take it out on the kids. I know someone who has done that and it’s really been bad for both the child and the marriage.

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  • I would say no more kids, and work on your relationship issues with your wife!
    I have a 6 year old with special needs and life has been hell! Constant screaming fits for years on end changed me as a person. I’m now angry and want a break.I think I actually have PTSD from it and am quick to snap at the kids for any little thing. But I honestly cannot imagine life without them! My husband and I argue all the time and play the blame game. It doesn’t work or help! Work out what your issues are, they all seem to be directed at your wife, not your kids, and see if there’s anything that can be fixed from your end and then work together to solve both of your issues!

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  • Sounds like he is depressed and is taking a rough patch as how his life will always be. I have four children and when my middle two, who are only 22 months apart, were little I would sit and cry. As they got older they got worse and of course my husband and I would fight but things always get better. I’m so proud of all my children, my husband and myself. Life is very rarely perfect

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  • Get some counselling ASAP. The resentment towards your wife is unfair and cruel. You had a choice. This is about your reactions to the stresses of being a parent. Take a bit of responsibility here.

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  • Ask yourself the question, what are you really missing out on. My husband always says that having children ruined his life but he moves heaven and earth for them. He has 2 to a previous marriage and we had 2. The kids are all adults now and life is so much more easier, I wouldn’t change anything even if I could. I know a few males that say they are missing out on their best years and have seperated and now would love to have everything back to the way it was. I ask again, “what are you missing out on?

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  • You need to set aside time for yourselves- get some people you trust to babysit and have a date night or day. Do all the things you used to do when dating. If people offer to give you a night off 100% take it. Grandparents are usually s good bet.

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  • We are only seeing a snippet of his life here so it’s hard to offer more than the basics. Communication – talking with his wife about how he feels and to maybe suggest they seek counseling together (or separately). People talk about self care for women/mothers but what about men/fathers? Does he get any time to himself, to do something that’s just for him? Is there any quality time (and seriously it’s not just sex here) for the parents as partners, away from being parents?

    Life with kids can be so … mundane and repetitive. Breaking it up with time apart and then coming back together with fun, wholesome activities and adventures can be refreshing.

    She wants 4 kids, he wanted none. 2 is a compromise for both. Sounds like dad is really seeking some assurance that he’s still him. Not just ‘dad’. But it shouldn’t be solely on his partner and children to reassure him; he needs to step up to his own needs and wants as well.

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  • I applaud the honesty, as I feel like this sometimes and feel guilty for thinking it, never mind saying it. I think it is important to be careful on how this is said to the partner, as it could come across as just resentful and accusative, when what is needed is working together to improve things. I bet she feels the same way sometimes too!
    some time away together and some time out from the kids if possible too, and maybe even some couples counselling? It will take some effort from both to work these feelings out, but as the kids get older and easier this will help too. I’m a solo parent of twins and an older girl, and I completely understand the feelings he describes, even though i love my kids to bits and dont regret having them. It’s like the comic Jessica fostekew said : I love them and would jump in front of a car for them, but also sometimes because of them!
    Hang on in there dad, you can work through these feelings. Also, sorry for stating the obvious but it’s kind of not worth brooding or dwelling on, because it’s a done deed, the kids are here, now the task is to work out how to find a balance, not dwell on that you didnt really want to have kids….

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  • It really isn’t easy to look after kids but the rewards can outweigh to down times.

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  • I think he needs a weekend away by himself and vice versa for his wife. Then they also need to make time for just the two of them. No try to make time, you make time

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  • Having kids puts a strain on most relationships.! I think there is more to it than just the kids.

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  • Having such negative thoughts all the time does nothing for his relationship with any member of his family. He is an adult and now needs to find ways to improve his situation and find joy daily and be grateful for what he has.

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  • Marriage is work. A lot of families spend so much time and energy on the kids that they stop working on their marriage. The good news is that with refocus, it is possible to get the relationship back, but again – it is WORK and requires input from both parties. Communication is also key.especially in regards to you not want anymore children…

    Reply

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