Unresolved Marriage Problems After Parenthood Can Destroy Your Marriage
Sometimes when a baby is born, married couples become less intimate. This is only natural because when you have a new baby in your life, your roles as husband and wife change.
If you don’t catch this up front and resolve this, you have a chance that it will surface again in your marriage. Most couples think that it’s because of the baby that they’re experiencing less intimacy.
That’s usually not the case. You need to realize and accept that I need to save my relationship.
When Alex and Isabel recently welcomed their new baby, their lives dramatically changed. They had no clue what an impact this would have. They found they had different ideas on how to raise the baby.
Isabel has developed a habit of telling Alex that he can never do anything right. So, instead of helping support each other during this time, they have become enemies over the best way to parent. Not one of them is ready to accept that there is need to save my relationship.
They have no intimacy. Isabel feels exhausted.After a long day, she just wants to watch TV and it irritates her when Alex complains that she does not meet his needs emotionally and physically.
Alex realized that sex would be a lower priority when the baby came and had agreed to that. But he’s still attracted to Isabel and would like to experience intimacy every now and again.
He feels rejected by her and it disappoints him. Free online marriage counseling is what they desparately needed.
Isabel is no longer working outside the home, but their spending habits have not changed. They’re still spending like a two-salary couple.
Alex has accused Isabel of spending too much money by buying take-out meals during the week. Well, Isabel has been tired, and sometimes she doesn’t feel like cooking.
Change the way of communicating and habits
As new parents, their roles have changed, but their way of communicating and their habits have stayed the same. If you delve deeper into this situation, you will see the underlying issue here. They are in a power struggle.
They have their own ideas about the right way and wrong way, and neither has really tried to understand the other’s way of thinking. Instead of talking about issues,they overreact, argue and immediately push each other away,and the baby is used as an excuse.
It’s not maternal instinct that’s making Isabel tell Alex how to raise the baby. She is insecure. In fact, so is Alex. When one has insecurity issues, one has self-esteem issues, namely low self-esteem.
What happens is that when your spouse says something, instead of it being taken at face value, it injures you.
When Isabel said no to Alex’s suggestion of more sex, Alex took it as personal rejection rather than understanding that at that moment she was tired and could not engage in any level of intimacy.
Stop disagreeing when a problem comes up
To help them stop tearing each other apart, we’ve asked them to immediately stop disagreeing when a problem comes up. When that happens, and it makes them angry, they need to have a cooling off period before discussing their views on it.
So, for example, what they should do is write to each other, perhaps in an e-mail or a text message,indicating how they feel about the situation and what specifically they would like to address. They should wait a few hours before they actually discuss the issue.
This may sound trivial but it’s worthwhile. It gives each other the time to think about how they want to respond rather than overreacting.
They also needed to establish positive behavior in their relationship. So I suggested that they take 10 minutes each day to talk to each other only about positive things.
Instead of talking about what they didn’t like in the relationship, they could set goals for the week involving the baby or even themselves (for example, planning a dinner out together).
Within a week, Alex and Isabel’srelationship had changed dramatically, and they came to understand each other much better. Alex texted Isabel about how they needed to be more conservative in their spending.
He also shared his ideas on ways to raise the baby. Isabel actually agreed with him and sent him e-mails about what she wanted changed in their marriage. A little online marriage counseling can go a long way.
The most important thing was they were able to break the cycle of constant fighting, which helped close the distance they were putting between each other.
By Dr. Ellen Kreidman, Ph.D
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