This post was updated on Nov 29, 2022
Becoming a parent is one of the most formative and influential moments in a person’s life. It’s a cause for great joy as your family grows and the love you share multiplies. However, the changes that come with such a big milestone can also put a strain on your marriage.
Staying happy in your relationship will help you be better parents and more fulfilled individuals altogether. This is why it’s important to learn how having a child may affect you and what you can do to keep your relationship strong. For example, if you realize that you and your partner are growing apart because of the stress you’re under, you can improve intimacy in your marriage by attending an intensive workshop.
How Does Having A Child Affect Your Relationship?
Having a baby can be very taxing on the parents, especially the mother. The mother’s body goes through enormous changes during pregnancy and childbirth. Mothers also face higher expectations and harsher scrutiny when it comes to how they care for their babies. They’re often expected to do most of the work all while grappling with the profound impact of the experience.
Fathers also experience changes, like sleepless nights and having less of their partner to themselves. Even if they had a strong and loving father figure growing up, they may have a hard time adjusting to this new and unfamiliar role.
During the baby’s first months, both partners are usually tired from a lack of sleep and anxious about whether they’re doing things right. This can generate a lot of friction between them, as they can get irritable and on edge. They may start fighting over the pettiest things and even become resentful toward each other.
Since all of their focus is on the baby and the demands of parenthood are intense, couples generally dedicate little energy to their relationship during this time. This means that passion and romance will likely take the back seat, and the relationship may suffer.
Why Do Some Relationships Fail After Having A Baby?
The pressures of parenthood tend to magnify the severity of any problem the couple had before becoming parents. If their relationship had already been strained to begin with, the new circumstances could damage it irreparably.
For example, it’s common for women in heterosexual relationships to take on the bulk of the housework. This may be manageable for the woman before the arrival of the baby and it may not seem that serious. However, with a new addition to the family, women are often also expected to be the main caregivers. This puts them under a tremendous amount of pressure and they look to their husbands for support.
If the man isn’t willing to change and share the responsibilities more equally, the woman will likely feel underappreciated and disappointed. The man, on the other hand, could feel like he didn’t agree to the new responsibilities that are being imposed on him. This could cause constant bickering and lead to the end of the relationship.
Because this huge change tends to bring out the negative aspects of the relationship, it’s important to be on the same page before you decide to become parents. Your bond needs to be strong enough to withstand the pressures that are probably coming your way. It’s also important to continue working on the relationship after the baby is born.
How Does Having Children Strengthen Your Relationship?
While the negative aspects are talked about more often, having a baby can actually change your relationship for the better. Here’s how:
- You’ll have fewer moments just for the two of you, so you’ll appreciate your time together much more.
- By bonding over your shared experience, you’ll become even closer.
- You’ll develop even more respect for each other seeing how your partner handles their parental duties.
- Because you’ll need each other’s support more than ever, you’ll be grateful for being on the same team.
- Children teach you how to give selflessly and you can also become a better partner because of it.
- Caring for a child helps you develop empathy, which can also be a positive force in your relationship.
- You may encounter difficulties and find healthy ways to overcome them together, helping your marriage thrive.
How Do You Maintain A Relationship After Having A Baby?
Healthy relationships take work. Putting conscious effort into your marriage is even more important after having children. All relationships have ups and downs, and it’s okay not to be perfect all the time.
However, if you don’t lose sight of what really matters, you have excellent chances of maintaining a healthy and fulfilling connection for years to come.
Here are some things you can do to make sure your relationship continues to flourish:
- Listen to your partner: Active listening and empathy can help you understand their needs better and meet them more effectively.
- Be vocal about your needs: Be honest about your feelings. Tell your partner how they could help and ask them if you could do anything to make things easier on them.
- Take a step back before you start a fight: Stress makes everyone irritable and it can provoke hurtful arguments. Try to cool off and talk about it when you’re both calmer.
- Make time for the two of you: Ask someone to babysit so you can have some time together to talk and decompress. READ that again! It is hard to leave a newborn behind however, if you have trusted friends and/or family, ask them to help. Even if it is for one hour so you and your beloved can talk a walk alone.
How Do I Get In Touch With A Qualified Remote Relationship Coach?
If you’re looking for quality relationship coaching, PIVOT provides sessions for individuals looking for self-improvement as well as couples who need to reconnect and enhance their bond. If you wish to work on your relationship after having a baby, learn coping mechanisms to deal with your love addiction, or need techniques to stop comparing yourself to your partner, give us a call. Our trained team will welcome you and guide you through the healing process.