Is Your Baby Hurting Your Marriage?
There’s no sugar coating this one: having a baby creates challenges that can put a strain on even the strongest of relationships. The good news, though, is that a couple can not only survive, but thrive, by confronting these seven common problems head-on.
Lack of couple time
New parents spend a lot of time together, but it’s almost always focused on baby, baby, baby. This can lead to a couple feeling disconnected from each other.
Lack of couple time: solution
Plan time together that is about you and your partner and not the baby. It can be as easy as watching a favorite TV show together after the baby is asleep, or putting the baby down for a few minutes to cuddle up with your partner.
Conflicting parenting styles
Do you believe in crying it out while your partner rushes to soothe the baby? Disagreement over how to parent is a huge source of conflict, and only gets worse as the baby ages and more and more parenting decisions must be made.
Resolving conflicting parenting styles
Discuss your differences with respect and humility while acknowledging that your partner’s style isn’t necessarily worse, just different.
Changes to sex life
The lack of sleep and difficulty in finding the time to shower often makes intimacy less-frequent after a baby is born.
Changes to sex life: solution
First, it’s important to acknowledge that a couple’s sex life changes after a baby, but if you are romantic and compliment your partner, sex is more likely to happen in those few minutes of baby-free time.
Increased household duties
There not only are more household chores after you have a baby, but less time to take care of them. This often leads to one parent feeling the other isn’t doing his or her fair share.
Handling increased household duties
Make a list of what needs to be done and divvy up responsibilities so expectations are transparent. My wife and I post our list on our refrigerator so we always know what needs to be done.
New parents are more tired than they are in just about any other time of their life. This leads to crankiness, bickering, and arguments.
Dealing with exhaustion
The “you can’t sleep if I can’t” philosophy isn’t healthy. If there’s an opportunity for one partner to sleep, let them. Two tired parents isn’t a good thing, and the more rested your partner is the more he or she will be able to help out later. Be equitable, though, so you both get to steal a little shut eye!
From health care to diapers and onesies, babies cost a lot of money. Finding a way to pay for everything can be stressful and lead to discord.
Coping with money issues
Sit down together, look at your expenses, and get on the same page about what you can and can’t afford. Also, use this time to tell your partner what expenses are important to you. For example, if you can’t live without a monthly music fix, express that, then find others areas to cut.
Frustration over loss of pre-baby life
New parents are often caught off-guard by how difficult it is to do pre-baby things like eating out, visiting friends, or going to concerts, sporting events, and movies. This can breed resentment.
Frustration over loss of pre-baby life: solution
Solution: Since going out together isn’t always possible, don’t make “date night” your only time away from home. Allow each partner to go out alone while the other stays home with the baby. These solo trips will be rejuvenating for each of you as long as you divide them up fairly!
What's the first date night after having a baby really like? Expect one (or more!) of these things to happen...view gallery
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