Marriage After Baby

Even the happiest couples might find it hard to maintain a happy marriage after having their first baby. It’s an overwhelming experience, and no guide or course will ever have you fully prepared for it. Suddenly, you have no time for yourself, there’s no time for sex after pregnancy, you never get enough sleep and generally feel ready to kill, if not to drop dead yourself. So much for the perfect family portrait.

A tired, frustrated parent often has a go at his or her spouse, and the relationship might suffer. So what’s the solution for young parents?

First of all, it’s OK to feel completely bewildered. Nobody is born a parent, and balancing between parenting responsibilities and the rest of your life isn’t easy, especially for “beginners”. The good news are, that you are not alone in this boat, so there’s plenty that you and your spouse can do to make things easy for yourselves.

Let’s start with the basics. Share responsibilities. Support each other. It doesn’t take a mathematician to know that two are more than one. Remember that when caring for your baby. That’s the whole fun in it: what you’re doing is creating your first memories with your first child. You don’t want to miss that.

Take some time off parenting responsibilities. The baby will sure demand 120% of your time and energy, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a break. There’s nothing to feel guilty about. We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time. So make an effort to spend some quality time with your spouse, leaving your baby with relatives or a babysitter.

Oh, and no, you don’t have to take your child with you every time you go out. It’s OK to choose sleep over sex. When you’re awake around the clock, it’s perfectly natural not to be that interested. Right now, it’s important for both of you to get some sleep, and your sex life will get back to normal after a while. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with simply falling asleep in each other’s arms, holding your first baby.

You’ll find some detailed tips and strategies on this subject can be found in John Gottman’s “The Relationship Cure: 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships”, based on years of research and clinical experience.

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33 Responses to Marriage After Baby
  1. Shirley Reply

    thank you for this post.

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      marriage Reply

      Shirley,

      You’re very welcome. And everything will be fine, I’m sure.

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  2. Gina Reply

    does sex life really get back to normal later?…

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      marriage Reply

      There’s no reason why it shoudln’t, as long as you both want it. we can’t feel romantic when we fall off our feet, do we? especially the mother, if she’s breastfeeding. Just take it easy, and congratulations on the arrival of your newborn!

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  3. Joe Daddy Reply

    now that Joe Daddy is a fresh daddy, all that stuff I thought only women read suddenly becomes very handy:) thanks!

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  4. Lisa_mom Reply

    “Nobody is born a parent”. nothing is more true. too bad I came to understand that only after I had my second:)

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  5. foxtrot Reply

    my first marriage went bad just after we had our first baby. Who knows, if we discussed it then and got some counseling we’d still be together. me and my second husband, we were smarter than that, more patient with one another, really caring. I liked reading this post, it reminded me a lot about my old self.

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  6. SarahO Reply

    nice to see some dads around doing their homework:)

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  7. Dora Reply

    I’d love to go out, but right now I need some sleep:) sleeping hugging my husband and my little angel:)

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  8. Waldemar Reply

    always hated coming to a restaurant and see people coming with kids screaming and running around..

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  9. Hans Reply

    my wife should read that, she ALWAYS insists on taking our little one with us when we go out..

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  10. Sam Reply

    judging by the number of comments, first baby in marriage seems to be the hottest topic, sadly:)

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  11. Jamie Reply

    when we had our first, my husband wasn’t that keen on caring for him. he really got loads better with our second baby, wish we had all this reading material back then, it helps so much.

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  12. Cho Reply

    oh, I know that book!:)

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  13. Fengie Reply

    How true !. I’ve been working on communication with my husband since our little on was born, but it seems that lack of sleep is getting on his nerves so much ! will try to make him read this stuff.

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    • Aleksandra Reply

      I never imagined it would be that hard. Never. Nothing you read, no advice can prepare you for this!

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  14. stephanie Reply

    I don’t know what I’d done if my husband would’nt share responsibilities, but luckily hes’ a perfect husband, God bless..

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  15. Sasha Reply

    yep, it does turn your life upside down..

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  16. Raphael Reply

    hell, even I didn’t want sex when we had our first, who can think of that in the first month?:)

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  17. wonderLeah Reply

    I think I do need some more details, thanks for the post:)

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  18. petitemoi Reply

    it’s harder with twins, but it sounds logical, thank you!:)

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  19. sarah_connor Reply

    very true, but it’s amazing just how many dads around happily run off to work so that they won’t have to take care of their baby. It’s their baby, for Christ’s sake!!

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  20. startfresh Reply

    I’m a fresh mom, and I love the way you write about it, it gives me some reassurance.

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  21. Rachel Reply

    Never realized that my life as a mother would be so hard. sometimes I feel so tired that I feel like running away from everything.

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      marriage Reply

      Dear Rachel,

      Well, if you can still run, the situation is not that bad:) On a more serious note, many women feel that way after giving birth, especially when it’s their first. My advice would be to ask your husband (or mother) to take care for the baby for a few hours, lock yourself in the bedroom and go to sleep. I’ve seen it work. You’ll feel better afterwards. Your feelings are natural, you’ll feel much better once you get more sleep. Feel free to write to me if you have any questions.

      Best Regards

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  22. Barbara Simmons Reply

    Hello,

    Thank you for writing this, I recognize all the problems we have with our newborn when I read this article. Thankfully, my husband is very committed, he gets up at night to bring our son when he cries – many men don’t even wake up- and he’s very patient with me. Still, we have our issues, and it’s good to know we’re not the only ones.

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  23. Steve Reply

    Marriage,
    Is it possible to speak with you privately by email?

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      marriage Reply

      Hello Steve,

      I apologize for the late reply. I sent an e-mail to the address you left in your comment. Feel free to write back, and I’ll be glad to help.

      Best Regards,
      Renata

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  24. Mandy Reply

    Well, I just freak out when I think that maybe my husband won’t take care of the baby. I know it’s stupid but I can’t sleep at nights and just keep thinking – what if he won’t get up at nights, or feed him, what if he won’t be attracted to me anymore..

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      marriage Reply

      Like almost every pregnant and even ot-yet-pregnant woman:). Your fears are perfectly normal.

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  25. Rasha Reply

    Yes, it was so true for me and my husband:) I can feel he really loves me more now, because I’m the mother of his child, but at first it was hell, I’m ashamed to admit I was jealous, my husband cared for the baby more than he cared for me:)

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  26. danielle Reply

    Okay, so I am in my seventh month of pregnancy with my first baby, and everything is going fine. I’ve been married for 2 years to a wonderful man. We intended to wait longer to have a child, just so we could enjoy being married first. I’m just curious how having a baby will effect our husband-wife relationship.Will sex soon become a rarity?

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      marriage Reply

      Danielle,

      Many say that having a child makes their marriage (and life in general) a much richer experience. No, it’s not going to be easy, and yes, at first, there will be less sex and less sleep. However, most find their way back into some kind of routine, and sex should not be a rarity at all. if your relationship is as good and strong as you make it sound, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Good luck, and enjoy your pregnancy!

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