A newborn can bring a lot of joy into the family but the sudden changes in lifestyle can take a huge toll on your relationship with your partner, especially physically and psychologically. Learn how to deal with those changes here.
Click here to read the introduction: Dealing with your Love Life after Childbirth
Making time might seem like an impossible feat when you are on call 24/7, with a baby entirely dependent on you. However, taking the assistance of others will help you find time to connect with your partner and with yourself. If you can’t get help, then you’ll have to make optimum use of those times when the child is asleep and let the housework go a bit. Hitting the gym, jogging, taking a shower, having coffee, gardening or cooking together are great ways to relax and de-stress. Do whatever works for you, as long as you remember that the important thing is to take time off to spend together. A child is what it takes to make a home, but a house can’t stand if the foundation (your relationship) isn’t strong enough.
The needs of the baby are very often immediate, so it is natural that your relationship with your partner takes a backseat. But it is essential that you both take time to connect.
Fix regular times to talk, and try to stick to it even if the mother is breastfeeding. In reality, communicating with your partner while the mother is breastfeeding is said to increase bonding within the new family. Talking and keeping the communication channels open will go a long way in fostering your relationship and should be one of the most important aspects you should learn to do.
Communication is a vital relationship building habit. It is a skill that you should train yourself in. Learn to listen carefully, which is really important, and to communicate clearly. Express your feelings, share your hopes and dreams with each other, it helps in realizing them. Learn to express clearly what you need and expect from your partner. And overcome the temptation to withdraw if you fail in your attempts to communicate, if you want your relationship to grow. After all, this really isn’t the time for ego hassles.
A few new parents might experience low libido but this is altogether expected, what with the massive hormonal changes and physical recuperation (in the mother), sleep deprivation and other exhausting demands (on both of you). It is important to be gentle and patient with each other. It is very easy for the father to be left out from the whole bonding process and any carnal frustration will only add to the divide. It is important that both of you seek to understand and communicate on lovemaking expectations. If your physical needs don’t match, you have to take the effort to meet each other halfway, either by facilitating arousal through romance or by finding other ways for proximity and intimacy like a massage, for instance.
Your partner might also suffer from “baby blues”. This usually happens with women, and involves mood swings, bouts of crying and prolonged feelings of sadness. Generally, they regain normalcy in a few weeks but if these symptoms continue, it is best to seek professional help. But the important thing to remember in treating postpartum depression is to provide adequate emotional support. A supportive spouse will go a long way in early recovery.
Make it Last
Build your relationships with little acts of thoughtfulness. Resist the urge to be negative because most people tend to remember the unpleasant things you do or say and that can be a huge deterrent to the growth of the relationship. If you feel your partner is going wrong somewhere, seek an opportune moment to correct them gently. Always seek out positive reinforcement rather than the negative. And don’t forget to enjoy together that miraculous bundle of joy that has been gifted to you both.
Let there little spaces in your relationship to keep the mystery and the magic alive, stretch the limits of your creativity and seek to kindle the passion and the love, because you share a living, growing child, and your relationship is more than sacred. It is eternal.
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