Marital Separation

I Left My Husband So Our Baby Could Sleep

I Wish I Did It Sooner

Claire Franky
3 min readJan 11, 2023

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Leaving was the best choice for her. Photo by Mike Kilcoyne on Unsplash

Our daughter slept in 30 to 60-minute increments, for the first 10 months of her life. By the time she reached 12 months old, she slept 12 uninterrupted hours a night. The only thing I had to change, was my marriage.

From the first night in the hospital, our baby girl was a terrible sleeper. It would take hours of feeding, rocking, and shushing to get her to sleep, only for her to wake up 30–60 minutes later. This pattern repeated itself all night, every night.

It was magical.

My husband (the baby’s father), refused to help at night, claiming he was too tired. He slept from 10 pm to 7 am every night and complained he was “tired” every morning.

This is why women live longer. They know not to say stupid shit like that.

So I hit the baby books, the articles, the blogs, the YouTube videos, video called family and friends, and spoke with the pediatrician. I got tons of advice and I tried it all. I tried hard. The different bedtimes, different routines, different nap schedules, different diets, different swaddles, different rooms, different sound machines, and Ewan the stupid sheep, all failed me. Nothing worked. Nothing.

If you don’t know who Ewan the sheep is, you are making good life choices.

After several months, I started considering the possibility that our baby couldn’t sleep because of my husband.

I knew that my husband had been having some issues since before our daughter arrived. Yet every time I asked him about it, offered support, or suggested he get help, he became annoyed and defensive.

Seriously, how rude of me.

By the time our daughter was eight months old, my husband had major mood swings, was verbally aggressive, and used physical intimidation to get what he wanted.

I realized, later than I should, that our daughter was witnessing his behavior and my stress and fear.

When my husband’s behavior spiraled even more out of control, he agreed that it was best for me and our daughter to live elsewhere.

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