Do you remember when there were just the two of you? You had all the time in the world to just relax and give love and care to each other.
Late dinners. Long discussions.
All that changed when baby came and your became parents.
According to Dr. Bernard Geberowicz, co-author of the book ‘The Baby Clash’, 20 to 25% of couples separate in the first few months after the birth of a baby. That’s a very alarming number. What happened to babies making partners relationship stronger?
Forgetting Your Partner Because of the Child
The common problem of couples with small children is that you are a “great team” when it comes to meeting your kids’ needs. But that’s all what you are. You don’t have time to relate each other as lovers.
Woman feels lonely and isolated, so she would like to have attention from her spouse. Man feels criticized and incompetent in her eyes, so he withdraws. She presses him for more attention and more help, in a manner that is not very constructive, and he is pulling away. You are having a treadmill of loneliness and withdrawal, and neither of you expresses needs clearly.
If you are lucky enough having sex at all, it’s usually at the end of the day, when you both are tired. For many exhausted parents, making love feels like “the last chore of the day”.
Solution – Make Your Relationship a Priority
Dr. John Gottman and his wife Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman share a solution for this common problem in one of their best-selling books, ’10 Lessons to Transform You Marriage’, and we are sharing it (the lesson number 9) here with you.
“Express your feelings to each other in more specific way and turn toward each other’s needs.”
When she feels that she needs his help, attention, or affection, she should tell him, as precise as possible, what she is looking for. She could say for example: “I need you to hold me tight. I need you to set a date for just the two of us.”
On the other hand, he should tell her how she could help him to feel more accepted and competent in her eyes. And when she is acknowledging his responds to her requests, he should say what it means to him to hear how she appreciates about his efforts.
Drs. John and Julie Gottman also encourage you to keep asking questions about your needs so that you would learn to be more specific in expressing your needs. When he is asking more questions about her feelings, he is also proving her that he’s listening and willing to meet her needs. He could say for example: “What do you exactly want in this situation?”
“Make your marriage the top priority, recognizing how this will benefit the kids.”
Making your relationship the number-one priority might be challenging, especially when you are committed to being great parents. However, improving your relationship is probably the best thing what you can do for your children’s wellbeing. For children, growing up in a loving environment is an important part of the feeling of safety and it gives them a healthy role model.
This topic is close to me in many ways.
First of all, I had same challenges with my very own relationship after my first child was born and I returned back to work. My top priorities were my daughter and my career, so little time was let for my husband. We forgot to schedule time for two of us. At that time we got and idea to boost romantic relationships using game mechanics. While creating the game with my husband, we managed to find some of that missing spark to our relationship once again. This was the main reason why I founded Relationship Games in 2010.
Second, we are expecting our second child together to be born in any day. I know that our relationship will change again, but I hope I have learned my lessons now. I am committed to keep my relationship with my husband number-one priority, since it will benefit most our new soon to be born baby as well.
Wishing you a great Baby Day on 2nd of May,
Mari Parviainen, Founder & CEO, Relationship Games
Ps. How you maintain romance after baby? Leave us a comment with your ideas and suggestions!
Relationship Games is the world’s first real life game for couples in Facebook. Relationship Games help couples to rekindle the romantic spark online and real life. Like Relationship Games in Facebook. Play Relationship Games in Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Visit Relationship Games website.