Becoming a new parent brings along with it unique challenges, and research suggests that couples have a higher chance of feeling dissatisfied in their one-on-one relationship after they have a child together. Even if you try to prepare, there’ll still always be so much to learn about bringing a child while trying to keep your relationship with your spouse strong and solid.
Just like with any other major life transition, challenging times are all a part of the process! It’s totally natural to have disagreement with your significant other regarding issues on parenting, finances, household chores, and marriage expectations.
As overwhelming as it all may seem at first, it 100% is possible to reach solutions that both you and your partner are content with.
1. Passion and Intimacy Changes
Research reveals that less than 20% of couples get back to having sex in the first month after their child is born; not to mention that many couples face issues with physical exhaustion, low libido, and having to compete with the demands of their new baby when they do start having sex again.
New mothers face battles with shifts in hormones, body changes, childbirth recovery, and sometimes even issues like postpartum depression. All these factors can significantly decrease their desire for sex after giving birth. Although intimacy is a crucial element to sustaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship, it’s super important to create a situation where both partners feel totally comfortable.
You can kick things off by actively talking to your partner about your expectations regarding physical touch, affection, and sex. Do this openly and honestly, and bear in mind that you’ll both be coming from two different places. So tread lightly when trying to bridge the gap. Create a judgment-free space. Avoid becoming defensive; and try not to take denied requests for sex, passion, and intimacy too personally. Figure out the best ways to say “yes” — or “no” — so that both you and your partner feel respected and understood.
Your spouse trusts you enough to be vulnerable, and they want a positive sex life —so this is a fundamental and crucial time to respect that trust and vulnerability if you want to keep it in the long-term! Talk about ways to navigate different scenarios in ways that you will both understand, and that won’t be hurtful to either one of you.
2. Different Parenting Styles
Differences in parenting styles are a pretty common cause of concern in marriages these days. In fact, if there is no established sense of unity and connectedness in place, you’ll probably find that these kinds of problems bubble up to the surface between couples even before they actually give birth.
One partner may wish to stick to a more strict parenting routine, while the other partner prefers to take a more relaxed and lenient approach. Maybe two partners disagree on the correct way of holding or bathing their baby. Whatever the topic of conversation, if not addressed correctly, it can become a major source of tension in your relationship. This is especially true if the issue seems to be brought up repeatedly, with an inability for the partner’s to see eye-to-eye.
If you and your spouse are serious about wanting to understand one another more clearly and reach a healthy sense of compromise, learning how to handle stress and conflict effectively is vital. Once you understand your partner’s viewpoints and needs, you can better find ways to compromise and find solutions that work for both of you.
Communication is always key; and if you want to do this effectively, make sure that you schedule some time in your calendar specifically to talk about parenting. Plus, this kind of one-on-one time aids in creating more passion and intimacy in your relationship anyway!
When you and your significant other hit a disagreement when it comes to parenting styles, it’s a sure sign that you both feel very strongly about what’s best for your child. This, of course, is actually not a bad thing, and couples counseling can help you better focus on bringing about these positive intentions. Take a look at The MarriageBooster Love Flame Method course if you’re ready for an intervention!
3. Financial Conflicts
It’s no surprise that raising a child is expensive! In fact, the spending actually starts the moment that you find out you’re expecting. This can put massive strain on a relationship, especially if one of the partner’s is a big spender and the other one is more of a frugal saver.
Your best bet will be sitting down together with your partner and creating a financial plan for the whole year. This plan should cover grocery budgets, clothes, utilities, medical expenses, and any other essentials you need. A more long-term plan could include college savings, family vacations, and any other larger purchases on your horizon. Try to check in with your partner to chat about your finances at around the same time every month. This will ensure you stay on top of things and make any adjustments as needed. Financial planning is a critical skill that will really serve you well for the rest of your marriage if you know how to do it properly.
4. Distribution of Chores
Chores tend to quite quickly pile up following a baby’s birth. Finding the right balance is not always easy, especially when both partners have life demands to deal with, such as returning to work, completing errands, making time to exercise, facilitating visits with family members (especially those who are dying to meet the new baby), trying to find a few sacred moments of personal “me-time”, and, of course, taking care of the new child.
To assist with the increased workload of caring for a baby, over and above your usual everyday chores, a weekly planning discussion between you and your spouse is crucial to make sure that your schedules are insync, co-parenting duties are shared, and the house is kept clean, tidy (for safety purposes), and hygienic. Remember to compromise, and always take the other person’s perspective into consideration.
Having arguments about chores may seem like a small issue at first; but if left unaddressed, disagreements can very quickly escalate into major relationship problems. For this reason, it’s best to give some time to them on a weekly basis. Expressing your complaints and concerns early on in a respectful and open-to-compromise kind of way will keep negativity out of the equation, and allow you and your spouse to effectively sort out your problems together.
If you’re able to address each of these four issues as part of a greater parenting plan, then you can largely reduce the amount of stress you and your spouse will experience while trying to adapt to being new parents. Remember that you and your partner are a team, and while raising a child is a huge challenge, you always need to have each other’s backs and best interests at heart. Stick by the plans that you make, and remember that regardless of all the pressures that come along with parenting, your marriage can still always be a fountain of trust, love, and intimacy. ❤️