The circumstances surrounding a relationship are constantly in flux. Changes in schedule, employment, living space, health etc. will undoubtedly require individuals to adjust and shift their expectations within a relationship. One of the numerous significant alterations in a couple’s life is the addition of a child.
Anticipation over a new-coming child is both a period of joy and stress. Couples may be accustomed to splitting household duties in an equal fashion However, despite a stated desire to share their new parenting responsibilities, couple often fall into traditional gender roles. The crush of exhaustion caused by sporadic and diminished sleep levels can cause new parents to become irritable and sometimes resentful.
Adding to the difficulty in transitioning to parenthood is the fact that men and women assume their freshly stamped responsibilities at different rates. Toward the latter portion of their pregnancy women begin to naturally take on the role of motherhood; subsequently they are ahead of their male counterparts on the parenting curve. Not being in the same stage of adjustment could cause a sense of tension and loneliness.
Another key element that drastically changes when a child is added into the relationship dynamic, is a loss of intimacy. Infants require constant attention coupled with the fact that one’s child becomes their top priority. Parents at times can feel alone due to the expected disconnect in terms of communication, affection, and intimacy. Spontaneity often diminishes and often the mother’s physical changes, postpartum & depression, and the timing of intimacy is often thrown off.
Expectations of happiness are another hurdle which new parents face. While your child is someone you love unconditionally, these new conditions are complicated and undoubtedly can use frustration. However, new parents often feel unable to vent their complaints and disappoints. Instead, they assume that their negative feelings are personal shortcomings which they keep concealed.
A strong, open support system can be a crucial component as a couple adjust acknowledging the altering environment. Discuss the issues you come across within your relationship rather than suppressing your problems and allowing them to fester. Your life is constantly changing so embrace the change while working through the pitfalls so that they don’t become major problems.