Marriage After Baby

Marriage /  / By Trouble Marriage / 723883 views

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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  • Shirley

    thank you for this post.

  • Gina

    does sex life really get back to normal later?…

  • Joe Daddy

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

  • Lisa_mom

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

  • foxtrot

    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.

  • SarahO

    nice to see some dads around doing their homework:)

  • Dora

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

  • Waldemar

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

  • Hans

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

  • Sam

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

  • Jamie

    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.

  • Cho

    oh, I know that book!:)

  • Fengie

    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.

  • stephanie

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

  • Sasha

    yep, it does turn your life upside down..

  • Raphael

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

  • wonderLeah

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

  • petitemoi

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

  • sarah_connor

    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!!

  • startfresh

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

  • Rachel

    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.

  • Barbara Simmons


    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.

  • Trouble Marriage

    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!

  • Trouble Marriage

    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

  • Steve

    Is it possible to speak with you privately by email?

  • Trouble Marriage

    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,

  • Mandy

    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..

  • Trouble Marriage

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

  • Rasha

    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:)

  • Aleksandra

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

  • danielle

    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?

  • Trouble Marriage


    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!

  • Trouble Marriage


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

  • Derek

    My wife and I have a 7 month old girl. Before she got pregnant we use
    to have sex all the time, sometimes many times a day. We were really attracted to each other, and I know still am.

    But since my wife gave birth, she has absolutely no interest in sex. We only had sex a few times between 3 – 6 months for medical reasons, all which I understand. But it never got any
    better after 6 months, and she’s totally healthy now!

    We love our little girl, but she’s not an easy baby. She still won’t sleep through the night, was very colicky for
    the first months…

    Why is she behaving like this? I know she is stressed about finding a job, and always
    worrying about the future. I’m the stay at home parent, so I cook, clean and do all the chores, so it’s not as if she doesn’t get any help and is too tired. She works
    very hard and is under some stress though. Romantic dinners and stuff won’t do it, neither of us likes it that much, so what do I do? She just comes home, and goes to bed and falls asleep..

    We’ve tried to talk about
    it, but we never really got anywhere. She wouldn’t even make out before we go to sleep! When we do have sex
    it’s usually really great, it just hardly ever happens. What can I do to get her back? Sorry for TMI.

  • AR

    OK, so we have a four months old baby girl. Since she was born me and my husband barely talk to each other…no sex, obviously.. ll we do is argue. We havent been on a date since I got pregnant, and we don’t have a babysitter, so we can’t go out now too. Is this normal after having a baby?? Our baby girl is so beautiful and loved, if not for her I’d just leave! And no family here to support me. Any advice how to get our marriage back on track?

  • Hello!

    Yes, it’s quite common, but you and your husband better start talking about it. More information about what usually causes the arguments would be nice though, would you like to tell me more via e-mail?

  • Hi Derek,

    You’re a great husband, and it definitely seems like you’re doing everything you can to help your wife. It still sounds like your wife is too tired to care, if not because of the baby, then because of work and work-related stress you mentioned. Sleepless nights don’t help much neither.

    I’d give it a bit more time. Your sexual life was extremely active, that was bound to change after the baby arrived, and I wonder how many young parents can say they were having sex multiple times a day, or even a few times a week, in their first year as parents.