Marriage is a huge adventure, but the wedding is only just the start. Couples who have spent some time buying a home and building a life together know that the next step is usually the beginning of a family. Having a baby isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. A baby is a joyous, overwhelming, beautifully stressful and life-changing event in life. Most married couples articulate their dreams for their future children and build castles in the sky for how they want their family to look. Unfortunately, many people picture a beautiful baby, all small and full of possibilities, rather than picture themselves WITH the baby – which is where the problems arise. There are some struggles that every new parent faces but it is how you deal with those struggles that will decide how much impact they have on your marriage.
The introduction of a child into a marriage changes things massively. One minute, you can leave the house whenever you want to grab a movie or have a meal. The next, you’re under the huge military operation of finding the time to even manage to leave the house. It’s an unavoidable change once you decide to procreate, and if anyone tells you that their marriage didn’t change, they’re not being honest with you or themselves. It’s up to you as a married couple to ensure that the changes that occur with the birth of a baby don’t end up with you discussing long distance marriages or family law issues in the office of a lawyer. Divorce is a huge step, and while a baby can change your marriage, it’ll only change it for the worst if you don’t work together. So, what are the most common changes in a marriage after a baby?
A deep feeling of dislike for your partner
There are couples who, in the early days of adjusting to a new baby, hate each other a little. The hormones ricocheting around the body of the mother, the lack of sleep, being thrown in the deep end with a screaming human who now totally relies on you are all going to mess your relationship around. Finding new ground and how to treat each other doesn’t always come easy. The key? Communication. Sleep deprivation can make you feel like you hate each other as it can ignite arguments. You don’t hate each other, you’re just both afraid to get things wrong.
The way to deal with this is to follow the the three step approach
- Tell each other how you are feeling.
- Take turns in getting sleep/doing the feeds etc.
- Make time for each other, even if it is just to cuddle up and watch a film when the baby is asleep.
You feel like they have forgotten about you
Next, the change of a baby in the house can make you forget to nurture your marriage. You put all your energy into raising a new baby that you forget you had each other first. If you can’t get out for a date, start planning indoor dates for when the baby sleeps. The time you spend just talking and being together can remind you why you embarked on this journey in the first place.
The way to deal with this is to
- Remember what you used to like doing together pre baby and do something similar or reminisce about old travels and experiences.
- Remind each other what you love about each other and tell them you love them.
- Try and make time for each other when possible. This can be as small as eating breakfast together.
Lack of intimacy
Lastly, those passionate times you spent together may have developed a ‘pause’ button that you didn’t know existed. Your sex life can absolutely change after a baby; exhaustion, forgetting the time, trying to fit in just a hug in between the breastfeeds and changing – it’s a little much. Communication is, again, the most important thing here. You need to remember to talk to each other often and remind each other that the pause button can always be un-paused.
The way to deal with this is
- Be patient with each other
- let the other one know you are interested and still find them attractive but don’t push
- Book a night away for in a years time as something to look forward to.
A baby changes a marriage, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Work it out together and you’ll come out stronger.