Relationship with Partner after Delivery
The transition from a couple to parenthood can be very challenging. Even the strongest relationships are tested for their love. Each and every component of a couple’s life, whether it is physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, relational, logistical, spiritual or social is affected with the birth of a child, especially if it is your first child. Often couples feel unsatisfied and low when it comes to their relationship with each other after baby and the worst part is they are never prepared for the same.
Though, a couple may be overjoyed with the feeling of creating a life with someone they admire and love, but the lifestyle changes which it brings can be overwhelming at times. On the one hand when women fail to play the contradictory roles of motherhood and sexuality, men feel overburdened with the home, work and child responsibility.
For a new mom, her child becomes a priority and she put her intimacy with her husband on the back burner and pours all love and energy on the new life. However, her partner feel ignored and detached with her which also generates feeling of resentment with the baby. All this happens to give the baby a healthy and happy life, but one must know that only healthy and happy parents can do so.
While a woman is overwhelmed with the changing priorities of friends, office and career to new baby, man often feel left out and isolated after the baby. These feelings generate contradictions and conflicts between couples which become challenging for their strong love relationship. Before getting into the solutions of strengthening and managing the relationship after birth, let us discuss the common problem faced by the couples.
Sleep Deprivation and Exhaustion: New born keeps her parents up till wee hours with her colicky cries and non-stop nursing needs. So, no wonder, you could not find enough time to get a sound sleep. In addition to that, there are several added chores and errands in your daily routine that you hardly find time for yourself. Sleep deprivation and tiredness with the exhaustive routine makes you irritated, icky, frustrated and cranky. And unintentionally or unknowingly, you pour your anger and frustration on your partner.
Household duties: With the doubling of your household chores, your bickering also doubles. Laundry, dishes, and other loathsome household tasks still exist as the same as they were earlier but now they cannot wait for longer. On top of it, there will be a baby who needs urgent and compulsory attentions every time he/she demands for diaper changes and feedings. There is no scope of skipping anything.
As a couple, you either need to share the responsibilities equally or the constant nagging between each other can build resentment over time.
Parenting Techniques: Often couples parenting styles and child rearing philosophies bring clashes between the couples. On the one hand when father wants to feed the child compromising with all kinds of mess and dirt, mother always want it to be neat and tidy. Similarly, for father a child playing means overturning laundries, throwing toys everywhere around, messing up with everything in his surroundings, a mother always want to inculcate discipline and good manners in the child. For a father, it never matters where his child is sleeping be it among the circle of toys until and unless, he is comfortable while mother always want her child to be lying safely and perfectly on bed.
These are the few issues which a couple definitely comes across and there are hundreds of more. Gradually, these differences generated antipathy in the couple.
Lack of Physical Intimacy: After stepping into parenthood, as a mother your nights are often occupied juggling with baby, breastfeeding, finding reasons for her untimely cries or fighting with your body aches and pains. The physical, emotional and baby demands take you far away from the feeling of having any physical intimacy with your partner. On the other hand, your partner always wants to relive his pre-baby life with you. He wants to get closer but your annoyance and disinterest are often misunderstood, he feels sex deprived and bears that in silence.
Personal Time: Getting jumped from twosome to threesome can take away your couple time. Now, you both will spend much time together but never alone. Moreover, every time, you both will be together, you will be discussing the baby issues and family issues only. You will often crave for that personal time, in which you both can turn emotional, naughty, flirty friends. You will always desire for some free time to spend with each other but you fail to find any.
On the other hand, your couple time has now become a big family time with the baby grandparents and visitors. Everyone in your family is excited about the baby especially grandparents are overfilled with the joy and pride. They want to spend maximum time with the child in which you also ought to participate. This also resist you both getting closer and gradually the differences creeps in.
Financial Insecurity: Though not thought previously but money becomes one of the greatest stressor for new couples. A couple often freaks out when they do not have enough money to raise their family well. The male partner feels pressurized to earn more for three members while female partner feel helpless and guilty for not contributing anything. Though, money has nothing to do with your relationships but tensions and worries affects your relationship.
Inferiority Complex in Women due to Physical Changes: After delivery, a woman is besieged with her changed body image. She gains extra fat, become wide on her hips; her breasts looks different and she lack energy and stamina as before. All these issues let her assume that she is no more attractive and become self conscious, and her husband would pay less attention to her. The partner’s unknowing ignorance often makes her feel low and depressed.
Postpartum Depression: Apart from the lifestyle and physical changes, there are many internal changes in emotions and feelings after the baby birth. Especially the women are affected as she gets clouded with the baby blues (a condition faced by majority of women after birth). The same is with new dads also; they also face some sort of depression after baby though not as intense and severe as female ones. The state of depression takes the couple far apart.
Helpful Ways to Strengthen and Improve your Relationship with Partner
Show Thanks and Gratitude for what he does: Do not hesitate to ask for any help from your partner for household chores. Your partner would definitely respond to your requests. Do not forget to say thanks and express gratitude for the same as it will make him receptive for future requests. This way, you both can have some healthy time together while handling the loathsome household tasks.
Spend time with each other: Sharing and communicating works for all. Though, your whole day is consumed in feedings, chores, diaper changes, baby consoling or sleeping, try to take some time out to spend with your partner as a couple, no matter if it is for few minutes. Daily 10 minutes of sharing and discussing about each other can work you definitely. Be honest and open while you communicate. Try to avoid criticism and blame and understand the other person’s perspective too.
Besides this, you can enjoy your time by watching your favorite DVDs or plan outing with your common friends.
Rebuild your Intimate Relationship: Sexual intimacy can kill all the hardships and negativities within a couple. Though, the female partner feel annoyed and disinterested in the same due to her body and hormonal changes, as a male partner, you should allure her and attract her for the same. Why not plan a hot date by calling a babysitter to look after your baby. After all, having a child never means, that you are too grown up to flirt or act naughty.
Discuss your Financial Issues Together: Often a father bears the financial responsibility after baby as the mother is occupied with baby and her thoughts. However, you both must sit together and calculate the income inflow and outflow and accordingly plan your expenses. Now, as a mother when you are not working and you have a new member who has his own financial demands, you need to cut out some of your expenses. Considering this as joint responsibility will help you ward off the stress and conflicts related to this.
Follow a Joint Approach in Parenting: Sit and discuss each other’s views on parenting styles. If you both are doing same thing in different styles, it never means that only one way can be right and other is wrong. Instead, it is essential that you know different ways of doing things because a child always looks for innovative ways and enjoy them.
Help from Family and Friends to Fight Depression: Lifestyle changes, parenting roles, financial difficulties and social isolation often bring in what is called as postpartum depression for parents. Friends and family can have big role in helping them out with this situation. Spend some quality and fun time with them. Also, give yourself some time and patience so that things can be easier. If nothing works for you, seek medical or some counselor’s help for sure.
If you both love each other and has strong and good relationship foundation, everything will be sorted out provided you give enough time and patience to the situations.