Relationship Advice, How to Keep Marital Satisfaction High After Children
The effects of having a child are immeasurable. Whilst most parents say the greatest moment and thing in their life was the birth of their son or daughter. The effect that having a child can have on your marriage is immense. Marital dissatisfaction can ensue after having a child and it can persist for years if you choose either not to address it, or, to assume that your relationship will flourish or return to how it was without giving it the attention it deserves.
So many couples that I meet report that their marriages suffered as a result of having children and yet did not take any action to change things. Research supports this showing that there is a significant drop in marital satisfaction and an increase in marital conflict. The point I wanted to make in the relationship advice I am sharing today is that it doesn’t have to be this way. With thought, consideration and open discussion with your husband or wife it is possible to prevent this happening and possible to restore the loving and fulfilling relationship you had before – if things have changed for the worse for you.
You already know having a child is life changing. From the moment you first set eyes on your baby you begin a journey full of emotional highs and increased anxiety. It is an incredible occasion but also a frightening and challenging time for many couples. Some fear that they will not have enough money to give their child the best start in life. Others question their ability to be a good parent and worry at every stage of their child’s development as to whether they are meeting their needs. It’s natural for your child to become your priority and your focus. Although if they are your only focus, this can be to the detriment of your marriage and where we all might benefit from some relationship advice.
Relationship Advice Tip #1 Know Expectations and Needs Change
The number one reason for divorce is mismatched expectations. With the children the expectations you have of your spouse and what is important to you in the relationship may shift…
Mothers often tend to desire more family commitment that they may not have given priority to before having a child. She will want to see that her partner is actively involved and engaged in parenting and this is something that will help her to feel connected, appreciated and loved. By having the support and involvement (in the way she wants it) she will feel closer to her partner.
Men, on the other hand tend to increase their emotions of responsibility, which could be reflected through finances and work. They may start to focus on the amount of money that is being spent, or on advancing their career or put pressure on their wife to return to work quicker. Whether they change or not, the most common things men will say to me is that they don’t feel appreciated or feel like an ATM machine. Many share that it feels as though they cannot do anything right in the house or with the children, so may as well give up
Relationship Advice Tip #1 Connect and Communicate
It is highly likely that yours and your partners emotional needs and expectations have changed since you got together. The important thing here is to address this change and be open about it. None of us can read the mind of our partner, no matter how close we are. You must have this discussion with your partner and tell one another what it is that you desire, without making demands or criticizing. The problem is most of us under pressure or when tired snap, nag, blame or criticize. Whilst it is natural for us to have “off days” when exhausted or feeling run down, many couples say to me that they have “off months or years” clearly here something needs to be addressed. As it doesn’t feel good to be nagging or criticizing others, or harbouring resentment.
Ultimately, if you do not identify the changes and the adjustments in what you would like from each other, then you will become discontented in your marriage. Resentment if left un-dealt often leads to explosive rows or distance. Therefore it is imperative to share what is on your mind in a positive way. If you take the approach let’s listen to each other and make changes focusing on the future not the past, you will experience positive results. If on the other hand your discussions are centred on what your spouse is doing wrong, this will not help you move forward. You must align your future wishes, goals and support one another in the roles you have assumed. Couples who do this thrive after children are born.
Sleep deprivation, and consequent lack of energy is also a culprit in marital dissatisfaction. You may feel like you are exhausted much of the time. Lack of sleep can affect all aspects of your emotional and physical being. It will affect your mood, your effort towards your relationship and the love that you feel for one another. Help each other out. Do your best to ensure that you are both taking time to rest and to sleep. Take it turns to have lie-ins where possible and to allow each other rest time.
Relationship Advice Tip #3 The key to success is listening and supporting one another. Communication without change is pointless, so after any discussion look at what you will both commit to doing differently.
From my heart to yours, Nicola
Contact or find out more about me at www.nicolabeer.com
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