People will tell you that the first year of marriage is the hardest. That is a lie. The hardest part of marriage is the first year in which you have a child. Marriage after baby is a challenge most couples have to face.
Children will rock your marriage like you could’ve never imagined. They also have the power to strengthen your marriage to an unbreakable bond.
In this article you will learn:
- Why marriage after having a baby is such a struggle
- Tips for having a strong marriage after having kids
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Why you might be experiencing relationship problems after having a baby:
1. You are so, so stressed
Stress is kind of a broad term, because stress leads to fatigue, and fatigue leads to irritability, and so on and so forth.
There are a lot of things to stress about when it comes to having a baby. And it doesn’t get any easier as they get older, there are just new and different things to stress about.
2. Your parenting styles differ
This is the hardest part. When you and your partner differ on how certain things should be done, it causes a lot of tension. And this isn’t just regarding the baby. It could be finances, work, or our personal never-ending struggle, the temperature the house should be. (Not even kidding)
The most common scenario is mom being more cautious and overprotective, and dad having more of an “it’ll be fine” kind of mindset.
The crappy part is, you don’t know that you disagree on certain parenting aspects until you’re facing them, so it’s hard to prepare for these decisions ahead of time.
3. Less one on one
Time together is key to maintaining a healthy relationship. And not spending quality one on one time with each other can cause tension, frustration, and a lack of intimacy.
Intimacy is SO important in every marriage. Both physical, and emotional intimacy. Being intimate helps to feel close to one another, and be vulnerable. Not being able to feel that closeness is likely to cause a lot of issues between a married couple.
4. Adapting to new roles is hard
Change is hard. Especially change that involves such an important task, such as parenting. Becoming a father is stressful. There is so much pressure to provide, and parenting might not just come naturally, so there is a huge learning curve.
Becoming a mom is also super stressful. Caring for another human being that is fully dependent, along with the constant fear of doing something wrong, is enough to push you over the edge. It’s just plain hard.
5. Babies are expensive
Finances are one of the most common issues within marriages. Sadly, money is a must. And going from providing for two to providing for three is a lot more difficult than it might seem. You often underestimate the cost of having a baby, because a lot of the expenses that come up aren’t ones you prepared for. It’s always good to prepare for financial struggles by having savings, and living below your means.
How to keep a relationship strong after having a baby:
1. Never stop dating
Don’t ever stop going on dates, go out regularly! Don’t stop flirting, don’t stop trying to impress them. Think about how your relationship was when you first started dating, strive for that kind of relationship.
Check out this List of Date Night Ideas That Are Cheap and Super Fun
2. Don’t let your day affect your relationship
Don’t take out your stress of the day affect your time with your spouse. Venting to your partner is healthy, but taking your anger about whatever happened that day is not healthy. Think of your partner walking through the door as a “fresh start.”
3. Make your marriage come first
You spend so much of your life taking care of things. Your kids, your house, your work, your health, everything. After exerting so much energy, there’s nothing left for your relationship. Your marriage needs to come before everything. If you prioritize your marriage, you will be in a healthier mental state, allowing you to do all of your other tasks with less stress.
4. Take time for yourselves
Both husband and wife, need “me time.” Taking care of yourself will result in you taking much better care of everything else. There’s something about doing something for yourself, no matter how simple it is, that helps to reset your mind. It helps to wipe the slate clean, and de-stress. Trying to accomplish something while you’re stressed or in a bad mood is so much more difficult than doing it with a good mindset.
Be sure to check out our list on Self Care Ideas That Are Perfect for Busy Moms
5. Let go of your pride
They say that pride is the root of all evil. And it really is. Being prideful, and not willing to admit fault will destroy any relationship you ever have. Being humble, and being able to admit fault and accept help on self-improvement will not only help you to develop a healthier mindset but it will dramatically improve all of the aspects of your life.
For some reason, the world makes you feel like you have to be perfect. It makes you feel embarrassed and ashamed of your mistakes. This is so unfair, because there is not one human being on this earth that is capable of being without flaw. Letting go of this concept will heal parts of yourself you didn’t know were damaged.
6. Be the first to apologize
Even if you strongly feel that you were not wrong, you can still apologize for raising your voice, saying something disrespectful, hurting their feelings, not listening to what they’re saying, etc.
Apologizing goes hand in hand with letting go of your pride. It’s hard to admit your wrongdoings, but if you don’t, it will surely destroy your marriage.
7. Be patient with one another
Being a parent is new for BOTH of you. And neither of you know exactly what the other one is going through.
It’s easy to feel as if being the mom is the hard job, and that husbands have it easy because they don’t have to get up to breastfeed in the middle of the night. But there is also a lot of pressure on the dad too. They don’t have that maternal instinct that a lot of women do. They’re not around the baby as much, and they don’t know their schedule, their needs, etc. as well as you do. So be patient with them, and help them to learn in a way that doesn’t come off as irritated. And the same goes for the dad, he needs to be patient, because giving birth and raising a baby has a tremendous effect on the mom, both physically and emotionally.
There isn’t a marriage in the world that will survive without compromise. And compromising on parenting-related matters is the hardest. Most people are very strongly opinionated when it comes to the aspects of raising children. The only way to make this work is to both state your opinion, explain your reasoning behind it. Try to find some middle ground between your opinions.
This will NOT work if you are trying to compromise while arguing, yelling, or being condescending. You have to try to be civil.
9. Remember why we’re here
This one is for the religious people out there. There’s a video my husband and I watch often. And there’s a part of it that is burned into my brain because it just made such a big impact on my marriage.
The video talks about how we were sent here to become like Christ, and to learn certain lessons that we would not be able to learn if we didn’t come to earth. One of those lessons is that we need to love one another unconditionally. It asks the question, how would we learn to love unconditionally, if our spouse met all the conditions, and if you never fought, or got upset, or disagreed.
I highly recommend the movie Fireproof. This is a movie my husband and I watch over and over, especially when things are hard and we’re struggling.
Marriage after baby is HARD! There’s no denying that. But you said it yourself, “til’ death do us part, for better or worse.” Try your best to never give up on your spouse, especially when they are being hard to love, because that’s when they need you the most.
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